1. COVID-19 has wasted no time becoming a pandemic who's history could rival that of Tuberculosis, Bubonic plague, and Spanish influenza. In a little over a week since it arrived in the state of Ohio, our entire lifestyle has been twisted and flipped on its head. Overnight our grocery stores turned from overcrowded and irritating chores, to active war zones. The streets in Dayton are flooded to the point of bursting as anyone within the downtown limits are trying to leave as fast as humanly possible. Small towns like the one I live in has become a shadow of its former self. Every road and thoroughfare that would normally be bustling with small activity is now barren for fear of human contact. Meanwhile, introverts like myself sit at our computer desks to work, write, play games, or some other hobby. What should I find on a daily basis with increasing frequency, but memes. Jokes, memes, pranks, humorous posts, and other such media are flooding our screens. If nothing else, this pandemic has taught me one thing; that humans will strive to make themselves, and others smile in a crisis no matter what. Someone will find some way to laugh. This is why I feel that we are living on the forefront of something closely resembling a utopia. Being a fan of Doug Adams, if I were to write my experiences of this pandemic up to this point, I would write it in a style similar to his, or that of Sir Terry Pratchett. Please make no mistake, I am taking the pandemic seriously, but I am one who tries to find the humor in dark times without taking it so far as to make light of the situation. The world as we know it is changing for sure, but I see so much good and so much laughter from every corner of the world that I could see a shift in perspective. Perhaps when COVID begins to wane and more infected recover, we as people can focus on where our society failed and try to lift it to a higher level. This could make for some hilarious tongue and cheek humor for future generations to look back on (assuming that this will, in fact, all blow over). Taking an example from our prompt we could look back with something like this; "2020 would be a year of hindsight and nostalgia for all. Little did they know, the memories conjured would hearken back to a time unexpected. A time like the 1340's: Known best for Black Death and poor hygiene." Having a sort of indifferent narrator can create that feeling of isolation as well as an odd "birds eye view" of the situation. Just as a meme takes a stab at a situation from a distance for a laugh, the audience can also have a laugh at the story from the third person. 2.
Distopia and Utopia aren't really my genres. If I had to pick, it would probably be a hard choice between "V for Vendetta" (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore, or "The Giver" by Lois Lowry." Both of these books do something for me that I often find frustrates me with other distopian stories. I find many distopian stories don't seem to resolve their setting's conflict, and instead focus on a more character driven story. "V for Vendetta" actively strives for a story of spiritual enlightenment as well as the toppling of a fascist government. It is a deeply philosophical story which calls into question the concepts of liberty, free will, anarchy, and social identity. Meanwhile we have a similar set of circumstances with "The Giver" in its deeply unsettling narrative. I find it uplifting in the way that it encourages one to recognize that one cannot have a perfect world with no conflict. There needs to be some level of balance in place for a world to function. I would make the complaint here, lamenting that the ending does not see the setting completely resolved as in V, but in searching for the author's name once again I discovered that The Giver has sequels. Perhaps it may be time for me to add yet another volume to my bookcase.