A man has told about how he read the 1901 classic science fiction novel, 'The Purple Cloud' by the British writer, M.P. Shiel, and, having finished it, started to become very afraid, indeed.
The story is one of a man, Adam Jeffson, who is a member of an exploration party to the North Pole, and who, by being the first human to arrive there, unwittingly unleashes terrible, unknown powers in the form of a deadly purple cloud.
The cloud drifts southward, wiping out all humanity in its path, until Jeffson is the only person left alive on the planet.
The tale has distinct apocalyptic similarities with the current Coronavirus crisis; an airborne foe that sweeps through the population without remorse, killing everybody in its path.
Well, almost everybody.
Er, I mean, some people.
Usually in the over-55 age group, and often with underlying health problems.
Still, being in that category, Moys Kenwood, 56, told me earlier:
"I'm a bit concerned, it has to be said. Not for myself, of course. I couldn't give a toss one way or the other. My two children, however, are a different matter altogether."
He went on:
"My children are 5 and almost 3, so, unable to fend for themselves if my wife and I both get killed by this virus. I can go, but my wife cannot, otherwise the kids are in big trouble."
The place Kenwood lives cannot be mentioned here because of possible reprisals, but it's fair to say, that an accurate description would be that it's a little bit like 'the Wild West with motorbikes', and law and order seem like polite suggestions rather than rules. Said Kenwood:
"Once things get a bit odd, you feel like a descent into savagery is lurking just below the surface."