I don’t really know what spawned the line of thinking, but I recently had a thought in my head about comparing the mythical one-day vaccine to coronavirus to the cure to the Krogan genophage in the Mass Effect series. Frankly, I don’t know how this post is going to pan out, but I figured I may as well just start writing, and see where it ends up.
For those who don’t know Mass Effect lore, the Krogan are a race of these almost dinosaur-ish, triceratops-ish, reptilian species. They’re ultra-tough, aggressive, burly and violent, and as the story goes, they reproduced at a speed that gave concern to the galactic alliance, and for lack of a better term, a virus or genetic ailment of some sort, known as the genophage, was unleashed onto the entire race, in order to help suppress their population growth. Yes, it’s a fucked up concept, but as all stories go, there’s really no bigger villains in the galaxy than man (and their intergalactic allies).
In Mass Effect 3, there’s a mission (Priority: Tuchanka) where the cure for the genophage is developed, and it’s up to you the player to travel to the Krogan planet, to determine the fate of the entire species. If successful, the cure to the genophage is airborne released into the skies of Tuchanka, where it presumably cures every Krogan who breathes. Given the way ME3 ends, who’s to say if it actually amounts to anything, but it’s a nice gesture to try and give them some sort of semblance of life back to the Krogan before the Reapers emerged from dark space.
In my perfect world, when the vaccine for coronavirus is developed, it will basically be Priority: Tuchanka, except that it’s more like Priority: America. Unfortunately, as much as the idea of Commander Shepard going up against, and inevitably killing hundreds of right-wing, over-armed anti-vaxxing Karens and muh-rights Karls is a sadistic fantasy to behold, the mass killing wouldn’t quite go over so well in the real world as it does in a video game.
But the end result where an airborne vaccine is just mass-released into the atmosphere, and takes the choice out of the hands of everyone, seems like a pretty ideal outcome to me. Granted, given the fact that the world is currently rushing the shit out of this, and who knows if we won’t accidentally sterilize the whole planet in the process, but it’s a risk that many would probably be willing to take in order to get back to some sort of normalcy in the world.
Ironically, the amount of resistance it would take to get a vaccine distributed throughout America much less the rest of the world, would probably be equivalent to the massive resistance we the players get in trying to save the Krogan in a video game. And unlike in a video game, we can’t just annihilate everyone who is resistant, as gratifying as it might seem. But the idea of the vaccine simply being dispersed in the atmosphere and taking the choice out of everyone’s hands seems very appealing to me, because it’s not about freedoms, it’s not about rights, it’s entirely about the long-term survival of the human race, and when too many people are being stupid, intelligent ones need to step in and make the smart choices for them.
Well, that didn’t turn out entirely as I had thought it might, but it’s sad/funny that we’re even in a position where the American future can plausibly be potentially compared to the genocidal plot of a video game.