Dispatch: Teens Raised on Dystopia Begin To Feel Like They Are Living In One

by Phoebe Farris ’20

There’s an eerie sort of routine that comes with being quarantined in your own house. You tend to feel like you’re stuck in an endless loop of waking up, watching the news, eating, showering, trying to find a new way to pass the time instead of playing guitar or reading, eating again, and then going to bed just to wake up and do it all again the next day. Maybe certain things vary day to day, like the side of the family you Zoom call, which reporter is getting yelled at by the president, or the amount of toilet paper you have in the doomsday closet in your basement, but for the most part, things stay the same. I mean honestly, the most exciting part of my day was my Statistics teacher Remind texting our entire class a picture of her cat. I know, thrilling.

Now one thing I’ve been doing a lot is going on social media (because would I really be a teenager if I didn’t waste endless hours scrolling through Tik Tok or Twitter?) and I’ve noticed a trend. Every so often there’s a video or a tweet saying something along the lines of “I feel like this is the quiet before the storm,” or “OMG I feel like I’m in a movie,” or “Could Martial Law actually be enacted?” All slightly concerning things to hear and they all have something in common. They imply something worse is coming. Now it would definitely be naive to say that the worst is over because that is 100 percent not the case. The number of  Covid-19 cases is growing exponentially every day, medical supplies are running out, and businesses are shutting down, and while nothing quite like this has ever happened before, it feels oddly familiar.

Like I mentioned earlier people are saying that it feels like we’re in a movie, but what movie exactly? Well, I’ll tell you. Okay, maybe not a specific movie but a genre. You see, my generation grew up at a time when book series like “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and “The Maze Runner,” were super popular. These books all fit in the Dystopian genre that includes novels that are usually set in an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic world, where the government is in disarray, and society as a whole is off-kilter. Sounds kind of familiar right? Now you may be asking yourself if you should go out and invest in a bow and arrow set or some machetes, and if I’m being honest, no. Just stay in your house unless you’re walking your dog or you must restock your groceries, wash your hands often, learn a new skill, find a way to make yourself laugh, or do what I’ve been doing which includes watching “Shaun of the Dead” enough times that you feel like you might be able to actually survive an apocalypse.