Should writers mention the pandemic?

As the COVID restrictions are relaxed in some jurisdictions, there are different opinions on whether writers should incorporate their experiences into their work. Anything set in 2020 will need to reflect the changes in the lives of the characters. Not mentioning the pandemic would be unrealistic but dwelling on it might deter  readers, many of whom turn to fiction to escape. There is also the issue of sensitivity. Many people have lost loved ones to the virus and may not appreciate a sensationalist piece.

During the last few months there has been a spike in the popularity of apocalyptic fiction. Some readers report that it gives them a sense of perspective by showing worse situations. Others want to experience fear to help them emphasise with those who have more reason to fear the pandemic. Another reason is hope.

The two best apocalyptic novels, The Stand and The Road, both conclude at the start of a better world for the surviving characters. As we start to venture out we have an opportunity to make that world.

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