Have you ever felt like you failed at something but strangely found that failure to somehow change your whole view of your future ? That is what happened to Jeevan, a paramedic in training who failed to save the life of a man who died of a heart attack. The novel Station 11, by Emily St. John Mandel from chapters 1-6 has been telling the story of Jeevan and then after the incident he had with the man who died. On his way home he had a sudden realization that gave him purpose, “Arthur died, he told himself, you couldn’t save him, there’s nothing to be happy about. But there was, he was exhilarated, because he’d wondered all his life what his profession should be, and now he was certain, absolutely certain that he wanted to be a paramedic.” (Mandel, Chapt 1). In one swoop Jeevan turned this negative situation into a positive outlook on himself in life which would be rare to see considering the ordeal of death that Jeevan had to see. Before this Jeevan had been living an unfulfilling life. Before his latest epiphany he was a bartender and a entertainment paparazzo and he was not contempt with either of those.
With his latest discovery i felt like he would go out in the world and save mankind (not literally), that was until he got a call from his friend. The brand new revelation is that a deadly flu called the “Goergia Flu” had spread wildly throughout the city and anyone can be at risk of catching it. It was at this moment that Jeevan did what any other person who would believe in an epidemic like this would occur would do, and that is flip the freak out. He immediately thought about his loved ones and how he may never see them again. Immediately I thought about how useless his character must feel to not be able to save anyone though Jeevan never stated that was how he felt. Though much like his prior trial he does not give in. He starts stocking up on supplies from the supermarket as the news of the epidemic is spreads. He was lucky to get the news before most people since his friend happens to be a doctor and is one of the doctors attending to the patients with the flu. If you thought that his friend would get sick from working close with these patients you are probably correct since the story seemed to have alluded to that. The story continued and he called his girlfriend, told her to leave town and is now with his brother with all of the stored food that he bought for precaution.
Even though he has a positive outlook on his life right now the narrative still portrays an eerie tone with death looming at any corner in the form of microscopic germs or bacteria. No one is safe as long as they are outside in a city. Living in New York for most of my life i have learned that most of the time u walk outside and you touch something that you are not the first to touch. There are germs everywhere and the Goergia Flu seems to be spreading at a rate that even touching something that someone has touched or even breathing the same air causes people to catch this flu. The interesting part to me is how the story starts off with Jeevan facing something so insignificant compared to what he now is facing. I want to end this blog with this excerpt from chapter 6. “No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one’s hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite.”(Mandela). A scary place is a place of not knowing if you are safe.
This is an interesting and thoughtful post Chris S.! Congratulations … I’ve chosen it as this week’s “featured post” 🙂