Is This The Apocalypse?

Maxine Martinez, Features Editor

   The world has been overtaken by zombies. Or maybe a genetic disease has spread wiping out half the plant but left some adolescent youths with supernatural powers. Perhaps, mother nature is out for vengeance and is showing her rage through a series of weather phenomenons. Whatever way you pictured the apocalypse, teen sci-fi has already explored it and growing up as an avid reader I probably read about it. And in the thoughts of a young girl, I was most definitely the perfect heroine to star in my own novel about the “end of the world” or at least the end of the way I knew it. A couple years later, and the world finds itself fighting COVID-19 and I can’t help but wonder, is this the apocalypse?

   When I talk about the apocalypse by no means am I referring to a world that just ceases to exist, rather I think of it as a rebirth. In the novels I read, society is overcome by some extreme hardships but then a group of young and determined teens manage to change everything. As the coronavirus has become more of a threat, I also realized that I was not the only one who thought they would get to play saviour one day. Online I’ve seen a few steady tweets or tik toks of other kids asking the same question and then also expressing that (even though we knew it was fiction) where are all the other tropes that come with reading a teen novel? Where’s the love triangle? The opportunity to find a cure? Nowhere did I read of people in quranteein who still managed to continue running society. Nor did I read about the kid who saves the world and also spends an unhealthy amount of time on her phone. 

   So maybe this isn’t the apocalypse we expected, but the truth is that life isn’t fiction. It’s raw and sometimes hurtful. I think that the real message behind those sci-fi novels is that from that horribleness and devastation can come something better and stronger. And in that sense, the coronavirus has supplied the perfect setting. While we are still in the midst of it, the earth has started to heal itself. Isn’t that something supernatural? Others are learning to feel comfortable with their own company. So isn’t that a new type of love? My hope is that society only grows more united from this, and in a way we all get to be the protagonist by doing our part. Try to stay isolated, and six feet apart from others. Wear your masks when you go to the supermarket. If we do these things I think we all deserve a place in the sci-fi hall of fame.