How would you react?

The new age science fiction novel, “Station Elevenby Emily St. John Mandel¬†takes an unexpected turn when a group of people, need to learn to survive during a flu epidemic. ¬†The story starts during a play ” King Lear”, when suddenly an actor, Arthur, dies of a heart attack right on stage. During the first three chapters we are introduced to a few characters¬†Jeevan, a paramedic trying to save the dying actor,¬†Kirsten, a little girl who was witnessing this tragic event and a actress in the play. Also, Laura who is Jeevans girlfriend, and¬†Hua, a friend to Jeevans who happens to be working in a hospital.

In the third chapter Hua tells¬†Jeevan¬†about aGeorgia Flueffecting his patients, during a phone call. According to Hua, this flu was no joke, on the other hand it was spreading very fast, leading to 37 deaths¬†in Huas hospital. Jeevan¬†was¬†extremely worried and immediately wanted¬†to leave the city. He¬†got in touch¬†his girlfriend Laura and brother Frank, to save them from about the¬†epidemic.¬†Laura did not seem as worried, I actualy think she did trust¬†Jeevan as much, “Jeevan, I’m concerned. This sounds paranoid to me.”(Emily Mandel,¬†chapter 3). Maybe she thought he was just overreating.¬†Jeevan¬†was still quick to react and was determined to leave as soon as possible. Chapter five, brings us to Miranda, an executive at a¬†shipping¬†company, and one of Arthurs ex wives, he was known to have several of those.¬†She was living in Malaysia when she receives a phone call about the death of¬†someone she once wanted to spend her whole life with.

In chapter six everything¬†suddenly disappears, “No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance¬†or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space.” (Emily Mandel,¬†chapter¬†6)”.¬†This story¬†started with a paramedic trying to save his family, and a women¬†finding out about the death of her ex husband on the other side of the earth,¬†to a world of¬†absolute emptiness. A world left with nothing, but possibly ¬†only¬†ashes and dirt left. We are left to wonder what actually happened, could it be that¬†this¬†flu epidemic had done this. Destroying every part of our¬†earth, or was this something else. Something far more scarier ¬†than we could imagine.¬†It makes you wonder for a moment, what if this happens to us one day no more countries, no more cities, no more light, no more anything. What if everything was about to change for us, how would you react? ¬†Would you react like¬†Jeevan, freak out and try to escape, or like¬†Laura not even realizing what could happen .

One thought on “How would you react?

  1. Daniel

    “It¬†makes¬†you¬†wonder¬†for¬†a¬†moment,¬†what¬†if¬†this¬†happens¬†to¬†us¬†one¬†day¬†no¬†more¬†countries,¬†no¬†more¬†cities,¬†no¬†more¬†light, no more anything. What if everything was about to change for us, how would you react? ¬†Would you react like¬†Jeevan, freak out and try to escape, or like¬†Laura not even realizing what could happen”

    I believe that most of us would go home and (attempt to) wait it out, wishfully thinking that it would be like the last epidemic (SARS) which, statistically speaking, probably makes the most sense. We would think “Oh it’s nothing” until it is not. I suppose that most of us would be in denial, clinging to the comfort of our daily routine. But maybe not…..I was in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War (Jan ’91) when the city came under Scud missile attack. Maybe 7~10% of the population evacuated¬† and another 10% left the area every night when Scuds were much more likely.

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