At first, I thought it would make a good novel.
The in-famous Covid-19 was just starting to spread its viral wings-tentacles-thing-ys, and getting out of China was becoming a problem.
The government of my friendly country sent an airplane to bring many people home.
Among those people was a family of four.
Problem was, the husband, both with Chinese and Canadian citizenship, was to stay behind. In the infected zone.
On the radio-show I listen to every morning or so, for a week or two, we’d listen to her anxious plea to get her whole family back home. Back to safety.
In real-life, this story has a happy ending.
However, in my mind…
The novel idea I will never work on
In my mind, this story is about the same family struggling to get on the plane back to their home country, getting at the airport, and being left behind because oh dread, the husband is Chinese, and we’re not a bunch a racist ass’s, BUT…
In my mind, that virus is stronger, more lethal, more to be avoided. And so the family tries to flee the country, in a car, then on foot, then on a boat.
Reminds you of some real-life migrants from Syria, from Afghanistan, from Nigeria? Yes, well, it’s because the awfulness, the heartfelt dramas of a real-life situation make great novels.
As long as the family wins and gets home.
As a whole family too, the kids holding both of their parents’ hands.
And not with the dead kids being washed ashore by an indifferent sea we use to see too often on the news. To write that in a novel would be considered… cruel, heartless maybe, unnecessarily opportunistic.
I will never work on that idea. Too dark, difficult, sad.
But somebody is.
At this very moment, a writer, braver than me, is writing away the story of that family, of so many more who deserves to be heard, deserves to not be forgotten.
That writer will touch the heart of so many, leave a mark, a testimony about a time, a place, an era where, not only human greed creates viruses, but it also spreads it, and then cure it.
I’m happy for that writer. Grateful too.
Good luck, brave writer, whoever you are, and thanks for reading.