In a new interview with NPR, Stephen King has talked about the comparisons between his 1978 effort The Stand saying that a pandemic was ‘bound to happen’.
King divulged in the interview: “I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’ And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’” This is a change of tune of sorts by King, who after in comparisons between The Stand and the current crisis began occurring, the writer took to social media to refute the claims: “No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.”
Although the virus is incomparable in terms of fatality as the guaranteed death curse of Captain Trips, there are certain similarities between how the two have dismantled civilisation as we know it. King told NPR that a pandemic like this, however, was “bound to happen.” Adding: “There was never any question that in our society, where travel is a staple of daily life, that sooner or later, there was going to be a virus that was going to communicate to the public at large.”
Elsewhere in the interview, King talked about how he thinks this pandemic will leave a wider mark on society after it is over and done with: “For me, as a guy who is in his ’70s now, I can remember my mother talking about the Great Depression. It made a scar. It left trauma behind. And I think that… my granddaughter — who can’t see her friends, can only Skype them once in a while. She’s stuck in the house… when [she’s grown and] her children say, ‘Oh my God, I’m so bored, I can’t go out!’ … [my granddaughter] is going to say, ‘You should have been around in 2020, because we were stuck in the house for months at a time! We couldn’t go out. We were scared of germs!'”
Writing has offered King an escape from reality during this period which he is grateful for, saying: “But for four hours a day, things change. And if you ever asked me how that happens or why it happens, I’d have to tell you it’s as much a mystery to me as it is to anybody else. … And in all the years that I’ve been doing this — since I discovered the talent when I was 7 or 8 years old — I still feel much the same as I did in the early days, which is I’m going to leave the ordinary world for my own world. And it’s a wonderful, exhilarating experience. I’m very grateful to be able to have it.”