I don’t know about you, but lately it feels like I’ve stepped into the pages of a young adult dystopian novel. I’m my own protagonist, channeling my inner Katniss to survive the coming days.
We turn to books for entertainment, but now what we use to fictionalize has in many ways become our current reality. I’m a huge fan of science fiction. Ironically, books with an apocalyptic or dystopian approach are among my favorites to read. But right now, it’s all become a little too real.
On that note, if I’m Katniss, where’s my Peeta? Because if it’s the end of the world and we’re all channeling our inner Hunger Games, I’d really like my own version of a quarantine love story. If anyone wants to profess their love for me, now would be a good time. Kidding.
Or am I?
The world we live in has drastically changed. Life as we know it has been upended. Yes, it’s temporary, and life will resume as normal at some point, but things won’t ever be quite the same again. The future is kind of uncertain, and that’s really scary. At the same time, there’s a sense of unity among people. We may be quarantining alone, but we’re truly all in this together.
And while the importance of literature is probably the last thing on people’s minds these days, I think it’s important to recognize the powerful impact a good story can still have. I read for entertainment, to see the world through a different point of view. At times, I read for escapism. To feel understood.
I read to feel less alone. I’m sure a lot of us are feeling kind of alone right now.
I think I’m going to read more contemporary books for a while. Bonus points if it has a cliche love story. Something along the lines of The Sun is Also a Star, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, or—dare I say it?—Twilight (am I the only one who misses the time spent obsessed with this fandom?. Now would be a good time to reread it. Just saying.)
I’m for sure not going to be reading anything about an apocalyptic virus that takes down the world. That storyline should be long gone for the foreseeable future. Unless it’s about a quarantine romance. I feel like that will be a new literature trope hitting shelves soon enough.
Also, if a love story could somehow be incorporated into my real life, like, you know, star-crossed lovers separated by social distancing, I’m cool with that, too.
But for now, I’ll sit in my room alone and use my extra free time to write, read, pray, and daydream about a brooding love interest. Because we all know no YA dystopian novel is complete without one.
In all seriousness, the coronavirus has changed the world. In some ways, it’s been good. And I don’t mean good, because none of this is good. For some, life has taken on a slower pace. There is less pollution. And in some ways, the world has united.
There may be a lot of darkness in the world right now, but light hasn’t gone away.
What is it that is truly important in life? Have our values changed since the coronavirus became a global pandemic?
Let’s remember what we learned from our time spent social distancing. This lesson may be different for everyone, but I hope you keep in mind whatever this means to you.
For me, it’s to have faith, even in times of uncertainty, and to take nothing for granted.
It’s the little things in life that end up being the most important. This may not be a young adult novel, but it is the story of our lives.
We have the power to change the narrative.
It’s up to us to live the story we want to tell.