Coronavirus Craziness

I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you forced to stay indoors. We’re heading that way here, too. Seeing Italians sing and play music from their balconies stirred my soul. I’ve heard people who I’ve never heard talk about books saying they’re stockpiling them like toilet rolls for their weeks of self-isolation. It truly is a unique time to be alive. If you’re holed up somewhere now, I’m sure the hours are passing slowly, and the longer it goes on, the fewer things we have to fill our time.

To help you while away those isolated hours, I’m offering eBook versions of my books A Fantasy Writers Handbook and Flying on the Ground, totally free for the next five days (the longest period Amazon would allow!) You can download and read them on any device. Just download the Kindle app from the App Store.

 

A Fantasy Writers Handbook >> mybook.to/AFWH

 

Flying on the Ground >> mybook.to/FlyingontheGround

 

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I’ve seen some crazy and saddening things in this past week or so. Things that belong in the world of fiction. People rushing to supermarkets to stockpile pasta, toilet paper, beans and all manner of junk food. Aggressive mothers of three with trolleys stacked high, elbowing and kicking anyone who happens to glance in their direction. The shelves wiped clear, leaving a few foul-flavoured pot noodles for the old lady already horrified and afraid of what she’s hearing and reading every day. The leader of her country telling the nation that loved ones will die. That the vulnerable, indeed her very self, will bear the brunt of what’s to come. No reassurance offered. No compassion. No help, nor love. Not from her leader, nor from anybody else in our self-centred society.

Within a matter of days, it feels as if the entire world has gone into a frenzied shutdown. Collectively, humanity has retreated into a shell. Gossip and fake news are rifer than the virus itself. This cures it. This keeps it at bay. It’s actually killed this many people. They’re not telling us the truth.

When panic and fear become the norm, the innate instinct to survive kicks in. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog. The whole stockpiling fiasco is evidence enough of that.

Covid-19 poses a threat to us all, but the greater threat to humanity is still itself. The gun still hovers over the temple, finger stroking the trigger. Humanity will destroy itself before any virus does. And what we’re seeing now is the very worst in people. All we can do is hope—indeed hope is all we have left—that we learn as a species from this coronavirus craziness. But if history has taught us anything, humanity is somewhat lacking when it comes to learning from the past.

About the author

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah's Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his critically-acclaimed book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at www.richiebilling.com.

Comments

  1. Richie, I’ve been reading numerous articles concerning COVID-19 and the world’s response to it. I’m a sexagenarian in the United States trying to come to grips with the possible outcome for myself and my family. My country is laboring beneath a president who despises science and called the virus a hoax perpetrated by his opposition party. Of all times to have an idiot in the White House.

    All that to say that your comments regarding humanity at this moment in time are the most sincere and caring that I’ve read so far. Thank you, thank you for that. When I first encountered your blog two years ago, I was touched by the fact you donated proceeds from the sale of your stories to help the nursing home where your grandmother lived. That sort of kindness cannot be emphasized enough. A young person who treasures others before himself. The world sorely needs more of you, Richie. Bless you for caring. Keep shining the light. The world may eventually find its way with your help and others like you. All the best to you.

    Connie Parrott

    1. Thank you so much Connie. Your words mean a lot. I just try to do what I think is right and fair and hope that others do the same. I’m hoping we’ll all learn from this, and that probably makes me a fool! Stay safe, Connie!

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