Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 November 2020
The best apocalyptic movies (from Mad Max to The Stalker) are less about the apocalypse than what follows it. They focus on the systemic changes triggered by the apocalypse. About the apocalypse itself, little can be said. Speech begins again with survival. Likewise, in the middle of the current pandemic, we operate under the law of necessity. For this reason, nations with very different political systems have converged on the same practices of lockdown, social distancing, testing, and tracing. Nations that refuse to accept the law of necessity demonstrate not political strength, but weakness. They suffer the consequences, for the virus recognizes no excuses. Consider the ravages of the pandemic in Brazil and the United States.