Life After Plague, Thoughts on The Stand

Life After Plague, Thoughts on The Stand

I’m watching The Stand on CBS. I read the book way back in my early adulthood. I also watched the 1994 TV series. The story made an indelible impression on me. The haunting and revolting image of 99% of the population dead, unattended and rotting. The idea of a world almost empty of people (plus some domesticated animals). The prospect of losing everyone you love and know. The intriguing idea of starting over, being an architect of a new society.

So how would I have done if I’d been a survivor of Captain Tripps? Browsing through trailers on CBS, I came upon a quiz, How Long Would You Last in the Stand? It featured simple, multiple choice questions as with most internet quizzes, though one brought me up short. It was a question of what current amenities you could not live without. Cell phones, plumbing, the Internet, electricity. The only one that would truly mess me up is the lack of electricity since I use a CPAP. Most of the rest wouldn’t be of much use without anyone to communicate with. Oh, by the way, the quiz concluded that I would survive and be on the side of Mother Abagail and the Boulder Free Zone. Natch.

This question of ‘how would I survive the end of the world’ has come up in various ways over the years. I’ll blame The Stand and a host of other apocalyptic and post apocalyptic novels and movies, as well as some of my own stories. While I could survive without the CPAP for an unknown amount of time, lack of sleep would take it’s toll eventually. Another issue would be my eyesight and dependency on glasses. Without good vision, survival would be even more difficult. I take medicine for my high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I also take testosterone. Without my meds, I’d have an increased risk for health issues. I could survive the lack of T.

All in all, while I think my attitude and resourcefulness, my creativity in using what’s available and problem solving, would be great assets in surviving such a world, I’d still be dependent on others. How long would my glasses last in a fight? And if they were lost or stolen, even if I could rummage through abandoned stores, the chance is very small that I’d find a match to my prescription. I don’t know that I’ve ever read an apocalyptic tale that addressed issues like that. Or maybe those people die off right away and the only ones left are the ones who don’t need glasses, sleep through the night without medical intervention and are camera-ready.

Suffice it to say that when I go back to working on either one of my end-of-the-world stories, I will be addressing these real world challenges. Not just because people other than me will relate to it, but also because I might be solving problems in advance of the need to use them, if such a situation occurs during my lifetime.

What’s your apocalypse fear? How well could you survive The Stand?

promo image The Stand CBS
promo image The Stand CBS

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