Pandemic Sci-Fi reality and short stories

About 5 years ago I read this fascinating short story about a worldwide pandemic, and it had a very interesting angle on the whole thing.

It focused on the pantry.

I thought it was such a strange choice to tell the tale from the perspective of a food blog. I really liked it, it felt closer to real people and you got emotionally attached to the struggling main character. Even though you what you got in the story was mainly food inventories, recipes, the fluctuating list of the number of people in the household as parents got sick and the nice blogger and her husband took more and more kids in. The story contained no real detail about what was going on in the outside world. A bit of news, a little trivia, a little family worry… but nothing certain about what was going on…

And frighteningly, this rings so true during this corona containment. Mainly we have news stories. The statistics of sick people rising on the dedicated websites. The fright rising in the medias or being turned into morbid calculation on the worth of a human life (are some people seriously saying: “so what if people have to die to save our economy? This is a sacrifice we should all be willing to make”. Am I the only one picturing a frightening cult of power suits worshipping a temple made of money, Aztec style, with ritual human sacrifice ? Are we in Gaiman’s American Gods, or what? I digress…)

In any case. My point was we don’t see much of anything of what’s going on. We try to stay home the most we can. Supermarkets are running out of the staples as hoarders do what they do best. And most of our worries turn around, will we have enough toilet paper and rice? How do I keep my kids entertained and educated… It’s so mundane. It’s so strange. And I do look at my cupboards every day and wonder how will I continue making healthy meals for my children with pantry staples… how can I manage to include a protein, a veggy, a carb in a tasty way. What are my best options for long conservation… and how I wish we had a garden of our own.

In any case, I really recommend the story. Especially now. It feels visionary. It’s on Clacksworld, a fantastic free online fantasy and Sci-fi magazine. I don’t have time to read it as much as I used to now, but I miss that. And the best part is you can listen to the audio version!

And thanks for the photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

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