Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
It’s pretty easy to look at our current existence and think, “Um…this seems…bad?” So this week, rather than just continuing on with our kidding-but-not-really-kidding “We’re all gonna die” comments, we’re just going to address it head-on: This seems bad. And we are all gonna die.
Welcome to Disaster Week, a week of content devoted to the very worst things imaginable. We’ll be talking about survivalist prepping, doomsday cults, humanity-ending pathogens, and all sorts of catastrophic scenarios. It's going to be GREAT!
One might assume that this theme week was inspired by the current administration, but that’s actually not the case; I first pitched this idea in spring 2016, well before election night. In fact, I was drawn to this topic precisely because the idea that the end is nigh is one of the few things both the far left and the far right can actually agree on. Sure, they may disagree about why, exactly, we’re all doomed, or what the best solution is…but in our current ridiculously-partisan existence, I’ll take common ground where I can get it. And right now, that common ground happens to be a bunker with enough food and water to last at least a month.
Of course, the worst day of most of our lives is probably not going to be the result of a natural disaster or act of terror; it’s far more likely that you will find your world crumbling after the sort of personal apocalypse — death, tragic accident, illness, abandonment, act of violence — that doesn’t make the news. So this week, people who have survived unimaginably awful things will be sharing their experiences and best advice for making those shitty, uncertain times a tiny bit less horrible. You’ll also hear from people (including ER workers, microbiologists, disaster relief specialists, and morticians) whose work forces them to confront the very worst every single day. And later in the week, we’ll provide some historical context about doomsday fears — talking to experts about why, exactly, things feel so bad right now, and answering the question of whether our current era is as uniquely terrible as it feels.
And, because this is BuzzFeed, you’ll get the opportunity build your dream bunker to find out whether or not you’ll survive the apocalypse.
This week isn’t intended to make you feel more anxious (though, in all honesty, this afternoon’s feature about what it’s like to work in America’s “high-containment labs” — where the world’s most dangerous pathogens are stored — might leave you a little on edge), but to make you feel more informed, better prepared, and less alone. You can follow along all week here.