I’ve always had a weird fascination with apocalyptic films – when the world goes to hell, I’m sucked in by stories of how people react to having their world turned upside down. Of course, living through coronavirus, which is starting to feel like an apocalypse, is quite a different experience than reading about it or watching it in the comfort of my zombie-free home. With popcorn.
Always the empath, I naturally put myself in their shoes and think, what would I do? (#WWJD – What Would Jenn do?) My chances of surviving an apocalypse depends on what type of apocalyptic scenario you’re talking about, because, you know, there are so many different kinds.
The Robot Apocalypse – When robots get wise enough to take over the world (and who are we kidding, they probably already have), I’ll be at the top of their hit list. I’ve had too many run-ins with Siri and Alexa to get a pass. “Siri, WTF, why are you telling me you ‘found this on the web’ when you know I’m driving 80 miles an hour down I-75? You stupid %*$&#, you’re useless!” She calmly replies, “I’m sorry you feel that way” as she adds my name to the top of her list. The robots have it out for me.
The Zombie Apocalypse – What do you do when your normally loving husband gets this weird glazed look in his eyes and tries to bite a chunk out of your arm? My chances of surviving Zombieland would depend entirely on how quick the zombies are. If they’re early Walking Dead, I could totally handle that. But World War Z or I Am Legend, forget it. Not even gonna try. Of course, regardless of their speed, they’d eventually get me. I have MS and am not as quick on my feet as I once was, so if running becomes a life-or-death necessity, I’m kind of screwed. Becoming a zombie might be my only chance at true speed.
The Alien Apocalypse – This one’s a tough call, because much like the Zombie Apocalypse, it depends on the aliens. My game plan when aliens invade comes from War of the Worlds and The 5th Wave: grab a gun and the peanut butter and stay hidden.
The Environmental Apocalypse – I’d probably get through this one pretty well, at least for a while. First off, I firmly believe in global warming and the ongoing climate crisis, so I’d take the early warnings seriously (already do). Secondly, movies like Day After Tomorrow (climate crisis), San Andreas (earthquakes), Deep Impact (tidal wave) and 2012 (all the above) are regulars in my movie rotation, so I’m pretty prepped for this one. Listen to the experts. Follow their instruction even when everyone else thinks you’ve lost it. Listen to the crazy guy with the ham radio.
The Societal Meltdown Apocalypse – This one’s also a tough call. You can either be the hero (and probably get killed) or try to keep your head down and not stand out. I’d like to say I’d do the latter, but I’m one of those people who like to find solutions and set a plan in place, so probably not too realistic. Just don’t put me in the arena with Katniss Everdeen or in The Maze Runner, because I’d be meat.
That brings me to The Infectious Disease Apocalypse – probably one of the most challenging and the most likely to happen (See: coronavirus). Dr. Fauci is either really super smart or he’s seen Contagion, Outbreak and Carriers multiple times, because the advice is the same – keep your distance, wear gloves and a mask, and sanitize everything. I get it. If you don’t, just watch one of these movies and they’ll lay it out quite clearly for you.
I will say, my apocalyptic obsession has taken a pause since about March 12, probably about when I heard that March Madness was cancelled. I was so excited for my beloved Kentucky Wildcats to rally the Big Blue Nation and show Duke a thing or two. That’s when I thought to myself, “This shit is getting real.” Even I, with my wealth of knowledge about apocalyptic potential and worst-case scenarios, didn’t see this one coming.
Ask any Kentuckian and they’ll agree – when they cancel basketball, the apocalypse is upon us.