Empty SF

Previously, previously.

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8 Responses:

  1. J. Peterson says:

    Wow - look at all that parking!

    ducks, quietly runs from the room.

  2. bbd says:

    If this isn't used as footage in a post-apocalyptic movie in the next 12 months, I'll eat my hat.

  3. Karellen says:

    The weird thing is, my brain is telling me two stories about these visuals at once.

    The first story is the one I learned from pop culture's output over the last 50-odd years. To get to the state we see in those images, 50%-80% of the population have been infected. A lot of those have died, some from the virus, some from rioting. Many others have fled to the hills. Those that remain have banded together in groups of 20-30 people, and barricaded themselves into fortified dwellings. They worry about food because production has ceased, supply chains are totally non-existent, and only small caches remain that no-one has found yet. Contemplating the future, people are wondering whether they should stay where they are, or try and move somewhere else where life might be better.

    The other story is the one that I know is happening. Only a very small percentage of the population has been infected, and an even tinier number have died. Practically no-one has fled. Everyone who is meant to be there is still there, they're just indoors. People haven't formed tight-knit bands of rugged survivors, but they're remaining separate as much as possible, and maybe saying "hi" to their neighbours - from a distance - more frequently than before. Food production is still happening, supply chains are intact, and the only real worry about food is whether everyone else stocking up a bit more than normal will have caused the nearest shop to have run out of the brand of food you like before the next delivery arrives tomorrow. Contemplating the future, people are... waiting. Just waiting.

    It seems so strange how such wildly different narratives can be behind the same images.

    • NT says:

      It looks empty but shows no sign of physical decay. Somebody is sweeping up the leaves regularly. More like a particularly slow sunday morning than any kind of apocalypse, with the biggest lawbreaker being the guy flying his drone.

      • Jim says:

        Who's to say that drone photography isn't a valid form of exercise?

      • nooj says:

        I bet Haight-Ashbury is nearly litter free! When I was there, there was a lot of detritus, even though the streets were swept every weekday.

      • Nick Lamb says:

        Not empty. You see a few people. Like you said, it's almost like a slow Sunday morning. Forever.

        Once a week I go out and I stand in a queue to buy groceries from a store that has more bare shelves than usual. I don't talk to anybody. I pick items from the shelves with things on, if I touch an item I don't need I feel guilty and consider buying it anyway. Nobody wants to buy things someone else touched now. I scan the item and put it into one of my bags. I used to sometimes buy slices of pie from a nice woman whose knives weren't sharp enough, but her counter is empty. I saw her in a different uniform, perhaps she's a cashier now but I don't talk to her, I smiled at a distance. I touch a screen with a bare hand, "No", I don't need a human, and they're happier that way. I washed my hands before I walked here and I'll wash them again when I get home. I touch my payment card to the terminal with the other (gloved) hand and walk out of the store. In a week or two I'll know if this trip was one roll of the dice too many.

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