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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Slow-motion Apocalypse

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1

  3. EXT. PARK - DAY

  4. Sunny. After practising some Quick Steps dance footworks, PETER sees a pigeon walking nearby and takes a photo of it.

  5. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I always admire other living things. They don't carry any baggage wherever they go.



  8. Phone in hand, Peter is watching TV.

  9. PETER (V.O.): Many US states are reopening despite their alarming pandemic statistics. It seems that people are prepared to risk lives rather than to lock down the economy.

  10. A tweet appears on the TV screen.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For politics, the economy trumps all.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It should be common sense that the re-openings of US states are premature.


  15. Peter leaves the park leisurely.

  16. Act 2


  18. Peter reads a phone notification.

  19. PETER (V.O.): This question request is interesting: What are some differences between movies depicting pandemics and the real life pandemic?

  20. Thinking.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Movies have the 3-Act structure - Act 1: background, Act 2: the challange and Act 3: the resolution. In reality now, we are still in Act 2 - facing the pandemic challenge.

  22. Peter begins to type on his phone.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For movies, there're lots of dramatic twist and turns in the escalating conflicts. In reality now, the little twist and turns are expected. Eg the leapfrogged reopenings will inevitably lead to more infection and deaths.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Furthermore, our darkest hour hasn't arrived yet. I expect that a month from now, US' CONVID-19 statistics will be horrible.

  26. Peter continues to type.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the Act 3 of movies, there is always the resolution - the hero has saved the world, uplifting everybody. But in reality now, there's no clue if that would happen at all.

  28. Pondering.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've to end on a low note though. In movies, there's always the end; but in reality now, it's a developing story without any end.

  30. Reflecting.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's the reality.

  32. After more typing and editing, Peter taps Submit.

  33. A beat.

  34. Peter checks a phone notification.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, the question poser has upvoted and thanked me.

  36. Peter resumes watching TV.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The US admininstration is keen to instil its people with hope. A drug that is neither a vaccine nor a cure of the coronvarus will be administered to very sick COVID-19 patients.

  38. Pausing.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Apart from the science, the positive result might also be due to the Plecebo effect that the patients believe in the efficacy of the treatment.

  40. Peter notices a phone communication.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, there's a follow-up question: How do you deal with the feeling that this is a slow-motion apocalypse?

  42. Peter suppresses his lips.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He's feeling the world's black moments to come.

  44. Act 3


  46. Peter's thinking.

  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): It's now time for me to save his world. In responding, let me use the 3-Act structure again: Face it; understand it and over it.

  48. Peter begins to type.

  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Keeping fit is a way to survive. But my message is that we need to find meaning of our survival.

  50. Pausing.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me reframe his apocalypse to endurance.

  52. Reflecting.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And we've to accept that the pandemic is nature's game between the coronavirus and the humankind.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We should treat our adversity as a unique opportunity to transform us and to improve global governance.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Although one might perceive what is happening as a slow-motion torturous apocalypse, giving humankind time to deal with the pandemic can actually be a blessing in disguise.

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In Act 3 of my answer, I should cite examples to instil hope. Yes, humankind have faced pandemics before and have adapted to the change against all odds. If not, we wouldn't have been born and are still alive.

  60. Pausing.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's also a truism that all things must pass. Instead of seeing things in black and white as if the apocalypse is coming, the world is still a colourful one.

  62. Thinking.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me state that figuratively. Behind the black-and-white clouds, the sun is still shining.

  64. Peter smiles.

  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've cheered up myself too.


  67. After running, Peter practises Quick Steps dance footwork again.

  68. PETER (V.O.): Let me document today's intellectual engagement in my blog post and use the pigeon image as the featured photo.

  69. We see some pigeons walking around.

  70. FADE OUT.

  71. THE END

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