Stephen King on the Coronavirus Pandemic: ‘We’re Making Complexes in Our Children’

Stephen King, the famously prolific horror author, recently was interviewed about his experience dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Many of King’s fans are reminded of his 1978 novel The Stand. But despite the fact that the virus in that horror novel was much, much more deadly, King still believes COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects.

Stephen King
Stephen King attends a special screening of IT in 2017 | Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

Stephen King believes the COVID-19 pandemic cause ‘complexes’ in this generation of children

Fresh Air, the NPR interview podcast, is hosted by Terry Gross. King joined Gross on the radio show to talk about his time during lockdown, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. He had a bleak warning for the consequences of this time in history.

“We’re making complexes in our children that are going to last a generation,” King said on Fresh Air. The writer explained his reasoning for this belief.

“As a guy who is in his 70s now, I can remember my mother talking about the Great Depression,” he said. “It made a scar. It left trauma behind.” That led the author to talk about his granddaughter’s experience during the quarantine. King thinks it will have lasting effects for everyone her age.

“My granddaughter, who can’t see her friends, can only Skype them once in a while,” he lamented. “She’s stuck in the house,” he said. “She can’t go out in the yard.” He continued with his prediction:

When her children say, ‘oh, my God, I’m so bored, I can’t go out,’ that little girl who’s become a woman is going to say, ‘well, you should have been around in 2020, because we were stuck in the house for months at a time. We couldn’t go out. We were scared of germs.’

‘The Outsider’ author says coronavirus reminds of ‘Night of the Living Dead’

King was also reminded of a famous zombie movie when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak. He told Gross:

… when you were talking about viruses not being alive or dead, this really is like one of those zombie movies. It’s like … we’re living in the Night of the Living Dead, in a sense. Because the virus is just what it is, which is something that’s almost incomprehensible to us and it’s incomprehensible to science, too, which is one of the reasons why I think people have to watch out for quack cures.

Stephen King
Author Stephen King in 2006 | Mickey Adair/Getty Images

The horror author argued that the virus in part so terrifying “because it’s invisible, because we can’t see it.” King went on to warn why the coronavirus, and diseases in general, are so creepy:

Think of this. They could be on your hands right now. Germs, viruses like wagon wheels, just they’re in your hands waiting to get inside the warmth of your body where they can multiply and spread. And once you start thinking about that, it’s very hard to unpick it. Again.

Sounds like something a horror author would say.