YA Dystopian Novel: COVID-19 Edition

The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave are all books about a grim future centering around teens which were then adapted as blockbuster films. These types of books were in high demand and considered just a source of entertainment. The fictional stories, however, seem to be the blueprint for the second half 2020, with elements from the novels mirroring events for one MC student.

Gem, short for Geometra, Wilkson, an 11th grader at MCHS has recently found herself in the middle of a dystopian novel with the whole six yards. 

Gem Wilkson’s Instagram story | Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

It all began only two weeks into quarantine. Wilkson’s AP Chem lab partner Ryatt Tenners began swiping up at her “quarantine moodz ” Instagram story posts with Frank Ocean playing in the background. The more the pair talked, the stronger their connection grew. 

Wilkson, a closed-off orphan, started to share her experiences growing up as the only brunette in her blonde-adopted family. While Wilkson and Tenners grew closer it was hard not to acknowledge what led to the budding relationship: a global pandemic. Without quarantine, it remains unknown if Tenners would ever have the nerve to initiate conversation, the stay-at-home order which made Wilkson bored enough to respond.  

A Trader Joe’s parking lot |Photo Courtesy of LifeAfterNanowrimo

The coronavirus devastated the class of 2020’s final days in high school and canceled monumental events like prom and graduation, but ultimately set into motion the beginning of the end. The pure chaos that resulted after the virus’s spread can only be described as “apocalyptic”. Toilet paper became the new currency and neighbors fought over the last frozen burrito at Trader Joe’s. Unbeknownst to her, Wilkson was the answer to everyone’s prayers. For some inexplicable reason, Wilkson was immune to the virus and as the Worthy One, handpicked by Dr. Fauci himself, Gem Wilkson was destined to find the vaccine to COVID-19. 

As her journey began she encountered a multitude of different obstacles. From killer hornets to battling pointless Instagram story challenges, Wilkson’s hands were full. Her budding relationship with Tenners, the kind lab partner, had to be put on pause but only for the greater good.

Giant murder hornet |Photo Courtesy of Crosscut

It was only mid April when Wilkson met him. Nevyn Steward, a 17-year old child prodigy and black belt. Dr. Fauci’s nephew had joined her after Wilkson found a failed vaccine for the second time. The pretentious, moody, and only occasionally sweet partner Steward proved to be valuable as the pair inched closer to the vaccine everyday. 

By May, the U.S Government had fallen and Nintendo took over, America’s fierce leaders were replaced by the Animal Crossing creators. This transition in power did nothing to curb COVID-19’s spread and the race to find the cure only intensified. After months of traveling together, Wilkson and Steward bonded, developing a relationship. Tenners was long forgotten until Wilkson returned home for a quick visit. 

“Ryatt T is typing….” the Snapchat notification read, reminding Wilkson of him and her heart was conflicted between the two boys. Tenners represented the old her and Steward could be unpredictable. Nevertheless, instead of picking one and sparing everyone the heartache, Wilkson continued on her more important mission. 

Recently an underground lab in El Salvador run by well-dressed and exiled scientists was located. Wilkson knew the number of opportunities at finding a cure was closing in, she had read Catching Fire on the flight there and knew there were only so many attempts before the main character ran out of chances. 

Wilkson and Steward were last seen at an abandoned train station in El Salvador, it’s unclear if the coronavirus vaccine truly was obtained. However if Dr. Fauci still has hope, so should we.

Written by Leyana Nabi

Leyana Nabi is a junior and the sunburn editor for the MC Sun. She's always down for a good laugh and is an avid fan of the Mamma Mia movies.

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