The Plague Writers who predicted Today
Survival, isolation, community and love are explored in these plausible, prescient books. Jane Ciabattari on the novels that tell us ‘we’ve been through this before and we’ve survived’.
In uncertain – indeed, weird – times like these, as we increase our social isolation to ‘flatten the curve’, literature provides escape, relief, comfort and companionship. Less comfortingly, though, the appeal of pandemic fiction has also increased. Many pandemic titles read like guide books to today’s situation. And many such novels give a realistic chronological progression, from first signs through to the worst times, and the return of ‘normality’. They show us we’ve been through this before. We’ve survived.
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Daniel Defoe’s 1722 A Journal of the Plague Year, which chronicles the 1665 bubonic plague in London, gives an eerie play-by-play of events that recalls our own responses to the initial shock and voracious spread of the new virus.
Defoe begins in September 1664, when rumours circulate of the return of ‘pestilence’ to Holland. Next comes the first suspicious death in London, in December, and then, come spring, Defoe describes how death notices posted in local parishes have taken an ominous rise. By July, the City of London enforces new rules – rules now becoming routine in our 2020 shutdown, such as “that all public feasting, and particularly by the companies of this city, and dinners at taverns, ale-houses, and other places of common entertainment, be forborne till further order and allowance…”
Nothing, Defoe writes, “was more fatal to the inhabitants of this city than the supine negligence of the people themselves, who, during the long notice or warning they had of the visitation, made no provision for it by laying in store of provisions, or of other necessaries, by which they might have lived retired and within their own houses, as I have observed others did, and who were in a great measure preserved by that caution…”
By August, Defoe writes, the plague is “very violent and terrible”; by early September it reaches its worst, with “whole families, and indeed whole streets of families… swept away together.” By December, “the contagion was exhausted, and also the winter weather came on apace, and the air was clear and cold, with sharp frosts… most of those that had fallen sick recovered, and the health of the city began to return.” When at last the streets are repopulated, “people went along the streets giving God thanks for their deliverance.”
What could be more dramatic than taking a snapshot of a plague in progress, when tensions and emotions are heightened, and survival instincts kick in? The pandemic narrative is a natural for realistic novelists like Defoe, and later Albert Camus.
Camus’ The Plague, in which the city of Oran in Algeria is shut down for months as the plague decimates its people (as happened in Oran in the 19th Century), also abounds with parallels to today’s crisis. Local leaders are reluctant at first to acknowledge the early signs of the plague dying rats littering the streets. “Are our city fathers aware that the decaying bodies of these rodents constitute a grave danger to the population?” asks a columnist in the local newspaper. The book’s narrator Dr Bernard Rieux reflects the quiet heroism of medical workers. “I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing,” he says. In the end, there’s the lesson learned by the plague’s survivors: “They knew now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for, and sometimes attain, it is human love.”
The Spanish flu of 1918 reshaped the world, leading to the loss of 50 million people, on the heels of 10 million dead from World War One. Ironically, the dramatic global impact of the flu was overshadowed by the even more dramatic events of the war, which inspired countless novels. As people now practice ‘social distancing’ and communities around the globe withdraw into lockdown, Katherine Anne Porter’s description of the devastation created by the Spanish flu in her 1939 novel Pale Horse, Pale Rider feels familiar: “It’s as bad as anything can be… all the theatres and nearly all the shops and restaurants are closed, and the streets have been full of funerals all day and ambulances all night”, heroine Miranda’s friend Adam tells her shortly after she is diagnosed with influenza.
Porter portrays Miranda’s fevers and medicines, and weeks of illness and recovery, before she awakens to a new world reshaped by losses from the flu and from the war. Porter almost died from the plague of influenza herself. “I was in some strange way altered,” she told The Paris Review in a 1963 interview. “It took me a long time to go out and live in the world again. I was really ‘alienated’ in the pure sense.”
All too plausible
Twenty-first Century epidemics – Sars in 2002, Mers in 2012, Ebola in 2014 – have inspired novels about post-plague desolation and breakdown, deserted cities and devastated landscapes.
Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood (2009) shows us a post-pandemic world with humans nearly extinct, most of the population wiped out 25 years before by the ‘Waterless Flood’ a virulent plague that “travelled through the air as if on wings, it burned through cities like fire”.
Atwood captures the extreme isolation felt by the few survivors. Toby, a gardener, scans the horizon from her subsistence rooftop garden in a deserted spa. “There must be someone else left… she can’t be the only one on the planet. There must be others. But friends or foes? If she sees one, how to tell?” Ren, once a trapeze dancer – one of “the cleanest dirty girls in town” – is alive because she was in quarantine for a possible client-transmitted disease. She writes her name over and over. “You can forget who you are if you’re alone too much.”
Through flashbacks, Atwood elaborates on how the balance between the natural and human worlds was destroyed by bio-engineering sponsored by the ruling corporations, and how activists like Toby fought back. Always alert to the downside of science, Atwood bases her work on all-too-plausible premises, making The Year of the Flood terrifyingly prescient.
What makes pandemic fiction so engaging is that humans are joined together in the fight against an enemy that is not a human enemy. There are no ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’; the situation is more nuanced. Each character has an equal chance to survive or not. The range of individual responses to dire circumstances makes intriguing grist for the novelist – and the reader.
Ling Ma’s Severance (2018), which the author has described as an “apocalyptic office novel” with an immigrant backstory, is narrated by Candace Chen, a millennial who works at a Bible-publishing firm, and has her own blog. She is one of nine survivors who flee New York City during the fictitious 2011 Shen fever pandemic. Ma portrays the city after “the infrastructure had… collapsed, the Internet had caved into a sinkhole, the electrical grid had shut down.”
Plague Writers who predicted Today
How will they chronicle the surge in community spirit, the countless heroes among us?
Candace joins a road trip toward a mall in a Chicago suburb, where the group plans to settle. They travel through a landscape inhabited by the “fevered,” who are “creatures of habit, mimicking old routines and gestures” until they die. Are the survivors randomly immune? Or “selected” by divine guidance? Candace discovers the trade-off for safety in numbers is strict allegiance to religious rules set by their leader Bob, an authoritarian former IT technician. It’s only a matter of time before she rebels.
Our own current situation is, of course, nowhere near as extreme as the one envisaged in Severance. Ling Ma explores a worst-case scenario that, thankfully, we are not facing. In her novel, she looks at what happens in her imagined world after the pandemic fades away. After the worst, who is in charge of rebuilding a community, a culture? Among a random group of survivors, the novel asks, who decides who has power? Who sets the guidelines for religious practice? How do individuals retain agency?
The narrative strands of Emily St John Mandel’s 2014 novel Station Eleven take place before, during, and after a fiercely contagious flu originating in the Republic of Georgia “exploded like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth”, wiping out 99 per cent of the global population. The pandemic begins the night an actor playing King Lear has a heart attack on stage. His wife is the author of science-fiction comic books set on a planet called Station Eleven that show up 20 years later, when a troupe of actors and musicians through “an archipelago of small towns”, performing Lear and Midsummer Night’s Dream in abandoned malls. Station Eleven carries echoes of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the prototypical irreverent 14th-Century storytelling cycle, set against the backdrop of the Black Death.
Plague Writers who predicted Today
Who and what determines art? Mandel asks. Does celebrity culture matter? How will we rebuild after the invisible virus lays siege? How will art and culture change? No doubt there are novels about our current circumstances in the works. How will the storytellers in the years to come portray this pandemic? How will they chronicle the surge in community spirit, the countless heroes among us? These are questions to be pondered as we increase our reading time, and prepare for the new world to emerge.
Amazon Net Worth 2021 and Assets
|Revenue||US$386.064 billion (2020)|
|Operating income||US$22.9 billion (2020)|
|Net income||US$21.331 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||US$321.2 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$93.404 billion (2020)|
|Number of employees||1,298,000 (Dec. 2020)|
Glusea brings to you Amazon net worth 2021. Amazon.com, Inc is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Amazon Net Worth, the company currently has a market cap up to $1.7 trillion.
It is one of the Big Five companies in the U.S. information technology industry, along with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from his garage in Bellevue, Washington, on July 5, 1994. It started as an online marketplace for books but expanded to sell electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization.
In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for US$13.4 billion, which substantially increased its footprint as a physical retailer. In 2018, its two-day delivery service, Amazon Prime, surpassed 100 million subscribers worldwide.
Amazon is known for its disruption of well-established industries through technological innovation and mass scale. It is the world’s largest online marketplace, AI assistant provider, live-streaming platform and cloud computing platform as measured by revenue and market capitalization.
Amazon is the largest Internet company by revenue in the world. It is the second largest private employer in the United States and one of the world’s most valuable companies. As of 2020, Amazon has the highest global brand valuation.
Amazon distributes downloads and streaming of video, music, and audiobooks through its Prime Video, Amazon Music, Twitch, and Audible subsidiaries. Amazon also has a publishing arm, Amazon Publishing, a film and television studio, Amazon Studios, and a cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services.
It produces consumer electronics including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo devices. Its acquisitions over the years include Ring, Twitch, Whole Foods Market, and IMDb.
Amazon has been criticized for practices including technological surveillance overreach, a hyper-competitive and demanding work culture, tax avoidance, and anti-competitive behavior.
Amazon first launched its distribution network in 1997 with two fulfillment centers in Seattle and New Castle, Delaware. Amazon has several types of distribution facilities consisting of crossdock centers, fulfillment centers, sortation centers, delivery stations, Prime now hubs, and Prime air hubs. There are 75 fulfillment centers and 25 sortation centers with over 125,000 employees.
Employees are responsible for five basic tasks: unpacking and inspecting incoming goods; placing goods in storage and recording their location; picking goods from their computer recorded locations to make up an individual shipment; sorting and packing orders; and shipping.
A computer that records the location of goods and maps out routes for pickers plays a key role: employees carry hand-held computers which communicate with the central computer and monitor their rate of progress. Some warehouses are partially automated with systems built by Amazon Robotics.
Amazon Net Worth
Amazon Net Worth, the company currently has a market cap up to $1.7 trillion.
Amazon.com is primarily a retail site with a sales revenue model; Amazon takes a small percentage of the sale price of each item that is sold through its website while also allowing companies to advertise their products by paying to be listed as featured products.
As of 2018, Amazon.com was ranked 8th on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
For the fiscal year 2018, Amazon reported earnings of US$10.07 billion, with an annual revenue of US$232.887 billion, an increase of 30.9% over the previous fiscal cycle. Since 2007 sales increased from 14.835 billion to 232.887 billion, thanks to continued business expansion.
Amazon’s market capitalization went over US$1 trillion again in early February 2020 after the announcement of the fourth quarter 2019 results. Amazon’s total employees now number over 1,298,000
Constantino Chiwenga Net Worth
What is Constantino Chiwenga net worth?
|Net Worth||$20 million|
|Date of Birth||25 August 1956|
|known for||First Vice-President of Zimbabwe|
Constantino Chiwenga net worth 2021: Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga is a Zimbabwean politician and former army general currently serving, since 2017, as the First Vice-President of Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In August 2020, he added the Heath Ministry to his portfolio. Constantino Chiwenga net worth is $20 million. keep reading to find more.
Chiwenga was born in 1956 in Wedza District of Mashonaland East Province. He was educated up to O Level at St Mary’s Mission in Hwedza, together with former students: Perrance Shiri, later Air Marshal, and Shungurirai, later Brigadier General and Commander Mechanised Brigade.
Chiwenga went on to earn a PhD in Ethics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2015. On 29 July 2016, he changed his name to Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.
Chiwenga has been married and divorced several times. In 1998 he married Jocelyn Jacobsen with a divorce in 2012.
There were no children from his marriage to Jacobsen. In 2011 he married Marry (Mary) Mubaiwa, a former model, while still married to Jacobsen. In 2012 Marry bore their first child, a son, and a year later she bore a girl.
In 2019, suffering from an undisclosed ailment, Chiwenga checked into a South African hospital. A fracus arose when his wife Marry visited him. She was later charged with attempted murder.
In December 2019 Chiwenga filed for divorce from Marry.
Career in the Zimbabwe military
In 1981 he was attested to the newly formed Zimbabwe National Army as a brigadier commanding First Brigade in Bulawayo. He was later promoted to the rank of major general and reverted to his original name of Constantine Chiwenga.
In the early 1980s after failing basic Officers course at the Zimbabwe Staff College he bribed a junior officer to give him answers for practical Intermediate Staff Course. It is alleged that he accepted a green coded paper with suggested solutions which are available only after the exam.
Chiwenga was expelled from the course after refusing to name the junior officer who had given him the paper. He then went on to shoot himself through the right shoulder in an attempt to end his life and was admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
On the formation of Zimbabwe Defence forces (ZDF) in 1994 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and was appointed commander of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA). Upon the retirement of General Vitalis Zvinavashe in 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
He is the chairman of the Joint Operations Command, which comprises the commanders of ZNA, Prison Services, Central Intelligence Organisation, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Air Force of Zimbabwe. He participated actively during the Zimbabwe land reform programme, and is a beneficiary of the land seizures with a thriving farm near Harare.
He and his wife are also on the sanction list for those Zimbabwean officials not allowed to enter European Union and the United States. He retired from the army on 19 December.
On 28 December 2017 Constantino Chiwenga was sworn in as co-vice president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, serving together with former Security minister Kembo Mohadi. He was appointed as the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs on the next day.
Chiwenga was appointed Minister of Health and Child Care in August 2020. He succeeded Obadiah Moyo who was sacked a month earlier over corruption in awarding coronavirus testing contracts.
Member of Parliament Tendai Biti said the appointment violates the constitution, which says the Vice President is not allowed to hold any other public office.
Chiwenga inherited a corruption-ridden department with a disorganized response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Constantino Chiwenga Net Worth
Constantino Chiwenga net worth is $20 million. Since 2017, he has also been the Vice President and Second Secretary of the ruling Zimbabwean African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) jointly serving with Kembo Mohadi.
In 2017, he, among others, managed to successfully topple Zimbabwe’s President of 37 years Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup.
Stan Kroenke Net Worth
What is Stan Kroenke net worth?
|Net worth||$8.3 Billion|
|Source of wealth||Businessman|
|Date of Birth||July 29, 1947|
|Education||University of Missouri (BA and MBA)|
Stan Kroenke net worth 2021: Enos Stanley Kroenke is an American billionaire businessman. He is the owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which is the holding company of English Premier League football club Arsenal F.C., the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League, the Los Angeles Gladiators of the Overwatch League, and the newly formed Los Angeles Guerrillas of the Call of Duty League.
Keep reading to find more information about Stan Kroenke net worth and assets here.
Early life and education
Kroenke grew up in Mora, Missouri, an unincorporated community with a population of approximately two dozen, where his father owned Mora Lumber Company. His first job was sweeping the floor at his father’s lumber yard. By age 10 he was keeping the company’s books. At Cole Camp (Missouri) High School, he played baseball, basketball and ran track.
Kroenke married Ann Walton, a Walmart heiress, in 1974. He founded the Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development firm that has built shopping centers and apartment buildings. He has developed many of his plazas near Walmart stores.
He is also the chairman of THF Realty, an independent real estate development company that specializes in suburban development. He founded this corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1991. In 2016, THF’s portfolio was valued at more than $2 billion, including more than 100 projects totaling 20 million square feet, primarily in retail shopping centers.
In 2006, Kroenke, in partnership with the money manager Charles Banks, acquired Screaming Eagle, a winery in Napa Valley. In April 2009, Banks stated he was no longer personally involved with Screaming Eagle.
more on Stan Kroenke net worth
Kroenke is a major owner of working ranches, owning a total of 848,631 acres. The Land Report magazine ranked him as the United States’ ninth-largest landowner in 2015. Among notable purchases is his February 2016 acquisition of the famous Waggoner Ranch in Texas, the largest ranch within one fenceline.
In August 2017, he came under fire for launching a British outdoor sports television channel that will show regular hunting programmes that includes killing elephants, lions, and other vulnerable African species.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment was founded in 1999. It owns Ball Arena in Denver, home of the Nuggets and Avalanche, and co-owns Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, home of the Rapids. Both venues were built by his development company. In 2004, Kroenke launched his own competitor to FSN Rocky Mountain now known as AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, Altitude, a new regional sports network which became the official broadcaster for both of Kroenke’s teams on launch. Kroenke also established TicketHorse, a ticket company that provides in-house sales for all of his teams.
In 2000, Kroenke became full owner of both the National Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets and the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche, purchasing the teams from Charlie Lyons’s Ascent Entertainment Group.
Arsenal Football Club
Kroenke is the largest shareholder of Premier League association football club Arsenal. Arsenal already had a technical link-up with Kroenke’s Colorado Rapids when in April 2007 Granada Ventures, a subsidiary of ITV plc, had sold its 9.9% stake in Arsenal Holdings plc to Kroenke’s KSE UK inc. Kroenke went on to buy further shares in the club, taking his total stake up to 12.19%.
By June 2008, the board had prepared to let Kroenke take over the club, and on September 19, 2008, it was officially announced that Kroenke had joined the Arsenal board of directors.
Kroenke had a beneficial interest in, and controlled voting rights, over 18,594 shares, representing 29.9% of the issued shares. Thus, he was nearing the maximum 29.99% threshold, beyond which he would be forced to make an offer for all remaining shares.
On April 10, 2011, it was reported that Kroenke was in advanced talks to complete the takeover of Arsenal. The following day, it was announced that he increased his shareholding in Arsenal to 62.89% by purchasing the stakes of Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, and agreed to make an offer for the rest of the club at £11,750 per share, valuing the club at £731M.
In August 2018, he made an offer of around £600m in a deal that would value the Gunners at £1.8bn, to the second major share holder Alisher Usmanov to take complete control of the club.
Kroenke has garnered significant antipathy from Arsenal supporters who feel that he does not care or has any ambition for the club, and that he is just using the club for his own profit, stemming from his reluctance to invest money in the club.
Stan Kroenke Net Worth
Stan Kroenke net worth is $8.3 billion. He owns some 30 million square feet of real estate — much of it shopping plazas near Walmart stores. Kroenke owns the Los Angeles Rams, which he moved back to California from St. Louis in 2016. Stan Kroenke net worth is also sourced from hi sports empire which includes the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Britain’s Arsenal soccer club.
On a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, Kroenke met his future wife, Ann Walton, a Walmart heiress. They married in 1974. Already wealthy from real estate, he became even wealthier when he and Ann inherited a stake in Walmart upon the 1995 death of her father, James “Bud” Walton. As of September 2015, that stake was worth $4.8 billion.
He is of German descent and was raised Lutheran.
Kroenke is a somewhat reclusive man who prefers to avoid the spotlight. He is popularly known as “Silent Stan” because he almost never gives interviews to the press. He rarely interferes in his teams’ day-to-day operations.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, he donated $100,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund. He subsequently donated $1 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee.
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