The outbreak of COVID-19 is one of few events that similarly impacts the entire globe, one of such magnitude to which it will leave a permanent mark upon our culture. With events such as these, the creative types in the world (now with more free time than ever before) become inspired to create stories. With the world already feeling apocalyptic, it’s not hard to imagine fictional worlds in worse states than ours or stories about even more radical diseases spreading across the globe.
Trends in media are far from a new phenomenon. Zombie and superhero movies in recent times, for example, have had their times in the sun, and the success of a book like The Hunger Games spawned an explosion of dystopian novels.
But historical events can also lead to these trends in fiction. Dictatorships and censorship in the early 20th century led to stories such as Fahrenheit 451 or 1984, the moon landing led to a spike of science fiction stories.
This pandemic will have a similar impact on stories to come. On Netflix, stories about diseases and the end of the world are already rising to the top of popularity, so new stories to satiate genre fans are sure to come. Here are some types of stories I think we’ll see:
1End of the World stories
This one is kinda obvious, and it’s a genre that has been in pop culture for a while, but many of those movies deal with the world ending in big, explosive ways, like a meteor from space or a world war. I think a new type of story will emerge where we follow characters at the end of the world slowly collapsing around them with less of an action focus and more of a character study of people helpless to stop their world from crumbling from a slower threat (like a virus) and how they cope with it.
2Rise of the Younger Generation
COVID-19’s mortality is focused on older generations, so what if a virus came that wiped out most of humanity, leaving only the young to fend for themselves? These stories would likely be framed as coming-of-age tales or something corny like that.
3“Humans are the Virus”
I’ve seen a few posts on Twitter and other platforms about how coronavirus is helping pollution and climate change in some areas of the world. I think we’ll see some films or novels about how less humans means a healthier planet. Maybe Thanos didn’t do anything wrong.
Recently, word came out that Senator Rand Paul tested positive for coronavirus. What would it be like if world governments fell to a virus? Would the world fall into anarchy and end, or would the remaining people band together and rebuild?
Stories following a group of specialists battling viruses across the globe. I think this one has a lot of potential for big blockbuster films because there’s potential to have simple stories and big-name actors. This decade’s version of 90’s disaster films about going to space to blow up meteors heading toward earth.