Fallout is a new, massively successful series on Amazon based on a long-running video game that I, admittedly, had never heard of until now. Suspicious that any TV series based on a video game must be nothing more than a shallow money grab aimed at bored children (like the Marvel superhero film franchise), I hadn’t planned to watch it. Then I read the reviews, and I decided to risk investing an hour in watching the first episode. After finishing the first season (the only one available at the moment) in a week, I quickly came to understand why this show has already developed broad appeal well beyond the loyal video-gaming community: Fallout is the perfect analogy of our pandemic experience.

The premise of Fallout is that the planet was decimated by nuclear war between the US and China in 2077, it is now 2296, and there is a violent struggle underway between several groups for control of what’s left of the United States. (The main story takes place in my own backyard of Los Angeles.) It turns out that the war was not an accident. It was planned by a cabal of elitists within the corporate world to ensure the elimination of all competition and guarantee indefinite, secure, and total power—at the expense of nearly 8 billion people then alive, of course. Is the story starting to sound familiar yet?

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