For Fiction Writers, the Pandemic Presents New Narrative and Artistic Pitfalls.

From a New York Times story by Alexandra Alter headlined “The Problem With the Pandemic Plot”:

Twelve years ago, Sigrid Nunez published “Salvation City,” a novel about a boy whose parents die from a mysterious respiratory illness. She conjured a near-future America that seemed like a far-off dystopia, one where a rapidly spreading virus upends society, as schools close, supplies of hand sanitizer and surgical masks dwindle, understaffed hospitals run out of ventilators, and new viral variants emerge, causing infections to surge and recede in waves.

Ms. Nunez, who based her fictional illness on the 1918 flu, figured that “Salvation City” would be her one and only pandemic novel.