• Francine Cunningham

Pandemic consumption

Updated: May 20, 2021

If you are like me during this time of pandemic isolation you have been turning to storytelling to make your way through. I have as of late been turning more and more towards storytelling that tells of other pandemics and other forced confinement or solitary self going , imaginary or otherwise. I think this stems from a place of trying to understand and see my own experience in other people’s stories. So I am compiling a list, this will be on-going, of the stories that I have enjoyed the most.


1. The Leftovers: TV show which is currently available to stream on Crave in Canada. This show ran from 2014-2017 and in my humble opinion is one of the best TV shows ever. I am talking writing, acting, music, and just over all storytelling. It gives you enough to keep the mystery alive without ever leaving mysteries unsolved, which is something I hate. It ran three seasons and was written to be told in three seasons, which is just awesome. The story follows a town and their towns folk after the day of the departures, where 2% of the worlds population just vanished in one moment. It starts three years after that day and man oh man, its exciting. I was wholly engrossed.

2. The Last Town on Earth: Novel by Thomas Mullen. "Deep in the mist-shrouded forests of the Pacific Northwest is a small mill town called Commonwealth, conceived as a haven for workers weary of exploitation. For Philip Worthy, the adopted son of the town’s founder, it is a haven in another sense—as the first place in his life he’s had a loving family to call his own. And yet, the ideals that define this outpost are being threatened from all sides. A world war is raging, and with the fear of spies rampant, the loyalty of all Americans is coming under scrutiny. Meanwhile, another shadow has fallen across the region in the form of a deadly virus striking down vast swaths of surrounding communities."

3. The Mosquito: A human history of our deadliest predator by Timothy C. Winegard: "The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. She (only females bite) has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief existence."

4. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond by Sonia Shah: "Over the past fifty years, more than three hundred infectious diseases have either emerged or reemerged, appearing in places where they''ve never before been seen. Years before the sudden arrival of COVID-19, ninety percent of epidemiologists predicted that one of them would cause a deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. It might be Ebola, avian flu, a drug-resistant superbug, or something completely new, like the novel virus the world is confronting today. While it was impossible to predict the emergence of SARS-CoV-2-and it remains impossible to predict which pathogen will cause the next global outbreak-by unraveling the stories of pandemics past we can begin to better understand our own future, and to prepare for what it holds in store."

5. The Stand: Book and TV Series from the 90s and the new mini series by Stephen King: "When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge--Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them--and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity."

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