What makes apocalyptic literature and television so compelling? Surely none of us glamorize the end of the world (we’re too attached to our wi-fi). I venture it’s the way that catastrophe brings people together in an intensified way. After the virus or the vampires decimate the population, those who remain, usually of different backgrounds and ideologies, are forced to bond to survive. And what does such unlikely bonding bring? The reminder that we are all human and, therefore, “in it” together.
When news that ebola was spreading began in earnest, I’ll be the first to admit a jittery panic followed by obsessive hand washing ensued, despite being thousands of miles from any victims. Several trips by plane were on my calendar though, which kept me awake at night imagining my end in a yellow quarantine tent. The media feeds these fears and thrives off them. Whether or not we intentionally follow the news, it infiltrates every aspect of our lives (there’s even a TV loop on at the gas station pump!). Since I come from a long line of anxious hypochondriacs, I knew I had to intervene upon my own overblown panic.
First step? You must turn away from the source of your fear, be it a pandemic, insult-slinging politics, or a negative family situation.