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A Tortoise File

Coping with Covid-19

Dystopian movies and books have – more than ever – given us a mirror to hold up to our own society. The shudder that generally accompanies a peek into an imagined near-future has felt even more pronounced during lockdown.

Coping with Covid-19

First published
Sunday 19 April 2020

Last updated
Wednesday 18 November 2020

Why this story?

I’m not sure why, but many of us have turned to apocalyptic movies and books in our lockdown. I couldn’t get Danny Boyle’s beautiful and tragic images from the opening of 28 Days Later out of my head. A man, alone in the dawn, wandering the streets of a deserted London.

And here we all are. Life only imitates art so far, but the images of an empty city, from Westminster Bridge to the Bank of England are now real. A city built for multitudes is echoing and desolate.

I thought Boyle’s images were a useful way to remind ourselves how very far we have come in such a short time, when the remarkable is greeted on a daily basis with an accepting shrug. I asked Matt d’Ancona to step back for a moment and reflect on a world transformed. David Taylor, editor