It’s the year 2020 and we are not allowed to go outside or make any physical contact with anyone. COVID-19 is the virus we suffer from today. In “I Am Legend” the characters are going through a similar situation but more extreme. I hope 2020’s plot develops differently for what’s left of the year. The setting of the story starts in the city of New York, in the movie it’s the year 2012 and a virus called “The Krippin Virus” has infected the entire city and the population has dropped down to one. That one person is Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) a virologist that has been searching for a cure so humanity has a chance of survival. Everyone who was infected by “KV” was turned into a dreadful inhuman creature called a “Dark Seeker”. Dark seekers have a nocturnal life cycle only lurking in the dark. Any direct sunlight or UV is lethal to these creatures. Neville is by himself and his only friend is his companion named Sam, a trained german shepherd who he has raised since he was a pup. He has an extremely strict schedule he must follow for survival and is a must to be inside before sundown.
The Legendary 2020
From a global pandemic, burning states, to the looming economic and social collapse, the year 2020 has made a mess of our world, or rather it has shown us how our neglect and violent ways of living have consequences.
Merced California, March 2020.
I was in 5th period English class when the teacher put on a news report that talked about a deadly virus that had infected many people in China, the report continued to talk about the uncertainty and potential travel bans, school shutdowns and in-home quarantines. The list of symptoms for the virus referred to as Coronavirus Included fevers, headaches, body aches and respiratory malfunctions. People in the classroom started talking about the end of the world and you could tell that although many were taking this lightly there was a sense of fear. In the upcoming days all you would see on social media was about the virus, memes went rampant and it was hard to know what was really happening.
Merced California, June 2020
I got news that my high school graduation will not be in person. These past two months my whole life has changed. Due to the mandatory quarantine in place all schools have transitioned to virtual learning. This turned out to be more difficult than I had foreseen, I had to teach myself most of the material since teachers were not properly trained to teach virtually and many of them could not figure out the process. I know I lost a lot of what I was supposed to learn in this time. As a senior something I was looking forward to was prom but the risk of catching the virus was too high for this to even be a possibility, instead the principals drove around people’s houses which didn’t make much sense. These past two months I’ve been inside eating more than I should and binge watching Avatar the Last Airbender. That might sound peaceful but it was horrible, I had no space for myself living at home and going out was too risky. In the outside word people were raiding the stores for toilet paper, lysol, sanitizer, canned food and water. Most stores started limiting the amount of things you could buy. Some stores such as Food for Less had to shut down in order to get their supplies together. When the day of graduation came around I was ready for a lame celebration, we had a drive through graduation. I understand that the schools were doing what they could but being in the car and driving through a tent and posing for a picture felt disappointing and I felt robbed, they did us dirty.
In ‘I am legend’ during the infection period the government used the news to let everyone know to keep safe and keep distance from each other. The city had to shut down square blocks and the military had implemented a quarantine city-wide.
The United States 2020
In the past months the government agency that’s become the most reliable source of news for us has become the CDC (Center for Disease Control), they have a way of letting us know the number of cases in each state and even in each country. Our local government had a really hard time deciding if a business was worth saving more than a life and showed us through policy that to them to them the economy came first.
Mental Health in times of crisis
Neville has been mentally struggling since he is the only human in New York and has nobody else to actually talk to, so to keep his mind right he has set up mannequins around stores and around buildings to make it seem like society is at its norms. Similar to his isolation, during the global pandemic we find ourselves in solitude, this can be extremely detrimental to our mental health. Like Neveille used the mannequins to feel like he was around people, during this time we have used various methods to stay connected. Many young people have found the app tiktok as a way to feel in community, others have transitioned all their meetings to zoom, and although things are not the same, it helps us keep our sanity by being able to share space with each other.
In the end
In the end Neville lost his companion Sam but found a kid and a mom which continued to encourage him to keep fighting. Neville’s hard work had benefits and he was able to find a cure. In the end they were able to find a group of survivors at a camp which they brought hope to. I liked this movie because it was interesting and it seemed like something that could happen to us. The movie took us through a wide range of feelings from excitement and action to seeing how trauma develops in times of crisis. I admire Neville’s wittiness and perseverance to help and save others.
As for us, what gives us hope and keeps us persevering is the fact that so many are fighting to help our number of infected people go down. We have medicine, masks, sanitizer and guidelines that can help us reduce risk. I know the efforts of the medical staff on the front lines and researchers will pay off in the end.