While my novel is getting edited, I’m diving into the science behind my next story idea.
I’m thinking about tossing a bunch of characters into a post pandemic world. The question I’m trying to solve right now is, what kind of pandemic? Something fast, with high mortality, no vaccine and/or antibiotic resistance. Without using the cheat of government conspiracy or international terrorism gone horribly wrong, what kind of diseases or viruses are out there, just waiting for the right set of circumstances to wipe most of us out?
Most of this science will not be in the novel (the people who remain won’t be scientists or doctors) but the information and research is necessary; to figure out so many things. Spread of epidemic, the health of those that survive, in the case of bacterial infection, how infectious would the dead be?
All very detailed and technical…I know. Except that the morbid, playing God side of me is really enjoying reading about the Black Plague etc.
Check out: When Germs Travel by Howard Markel– a fascinating study into the history of several epidemics in the United States. Even if you aren’t interested in the gooey, pus filled medical side of rampant disease, the social implications of stigma and quarantine are fascinating. And, considering Ebola, quite timely.