SMITH | Reality & TV

It’s probably only the kind of thought that occurs when one is three months into quarantine with a kitten waking them up at 5:30 a.m., but sitting in my house watching Designated Survivor while my parents watched House of Cards downstairs made me wonder what exactly we were doing. The third episode of Season 2 of the Netflix show Designated Survivor is titled “Outbreak.” The premise? There’s a viral strain of a flu for which there is no vaccine and the disease is disproportionately killing people of color. As a subplot, the White House counsel is tasked with mediating a debate over whether or not to remove a statue of a Confederate general from outside a courthouse. Watching fictional American governments handle fictional epidemics and have fictional issues to distract from the very real pandemic and very real police and government scandals is definitely a strange (albeit privileged) form of  escapism.