Future interviews with several people who lived through the now, possibly. 

Seeing the Hopeful Side of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction | Literary Hub“I remember back in ’20, when it all started.  None of us really knew what was
happening.  The leaders of the government
and health authorities seemed to change their advice and rules every day.  We mostly did our best and tried to listen because
nobody wanted to get someone sick.  Funny
as it may sound now, that was the good time. 
We were with our families and we prayed. 
We didn’t know how it would all work out.  We thought if we just hunkered down and did
what they said, we would get passed the worst of it in a few weeks. And I guess
as far as the virus itself, we did.  But
the virus was just the beginning of pandemic that even all these years later
has yet to run its course.  We gave up
everything, our churches, our jobs, our freedoms, our way of life because we
believed it was our duty to help the authorities protect our fellow man.  We didn’t really dream they would never give
them back. Well, some did. Some knew or maybe just asked questions.  But we didn’t listen to them then, not yet.”  –Scott N.
–Stories from the Before
“I was a kid then and when they cancelled school, I thought it
was kind of great.  I had to do a few
hours of online work then, but it was easy. 
We had all this extra time.  I was
happy.  A few months in, we were feeling claustrophobic.  My dad had lost his job and so we couldn’t
afford the air conditioning anymore.  It
was hot in our house.  I remember my dad
said, “Let’s go to the beach!”  Us kids,
we were so excited.  I remember that my
mom, she was worried.  It was against the
rules, but my father still had strong notions of his liberties and things like
that and he told us not to worry.  We
were on the playground near the beach not more than 15 minutes when the police
came.  They wore masks.  We were never really sure who called
them.  My dad, he walked over to them so
I couldn’t really hear what they were saying at first, but then it got
loud.  I remember the shouting.  “Get down! Stop resisting!”  They said my dad hit his head and that is why
he died.  I didn’t really see that.  But all these years later, it is hard to
remember the details.  I saw the memorial
the other day with all the names of those lost in the resistance.  My dad’s name wasn’t on it, but I think it
should be.  He died resisting too, but
nobody remembers him but me at this point. 
Sometimes I worry that maybe even I don’t really remember him.  Not really.”  –William B.
–Stories from the Before
“We had a few acres of property and my parents were what people
called “homesteaders” back then.  They
grew a lot of their own food.  It was
considered a hobby then.  Can you
imagine?   My dad had a job in town doing marketing or
something, but he lost that pretty early on. 
We were okay for a while because my family had prepared a bit, but by
the next spring things were getting pretty desperate.  My dad, even though we all had the virus and
recovered, couldn’t get work because he didn’t qualify for an “immunity card”
because of some things he said about the governor online in the early days.  So, he ended up doing day labor for a while
just to make ends meet but even that work dried up after government crackdowns.  He always reminded us that we were among the
lucky ones.  He said that every day.  I remember he said it to me when he left that
last morning with a few friends to try and make it across the state line to
look for work.  I tell my kids the same
thing now. I guess that really does make me the lucky one.” –Felix J.
–Stories from the Before
“You have to understand that back then most people were not very
religious. So, when they banned religious services during the beginning, most
people didn’t care and even the religious people understood for a time.  But as other things were allowed, but
services weren’t, some pastors tried to be creative.  The authorities didn’t like that so in many
places they banned the services altogether with heavy penalties and fines for
violation.  In some places, pastors would
hold secret services.  My mom, she used
to take us to secret mass in the basement of a store in a recently abandoned strip
mall organized by our young pastor.  He
was a good guy.  But the Bishop found out
and reported him to the authorities.  He
lost his government religious authorization. 
When he got caught again, he went to jail for a time. After he got out,
he couldn’t find work and drifted around for a while.  I heard he became a chaplain for the
resistance, but I never saw him again.” — Molly P.
–Stories from the Before
“I suppose when you talk to folks
like me about that time, they remember the terrible stuff.  Natural, I guess.  There was plenty of terrible to go
around.  The government stuff and all the
bad things, they were always coming. But after the virus, everything sort of
got sped up.  But that’s not what I
remember.  We were always Church going
folk, believers.  But our day to day was
not much different from everyone else. 
As things got worse, things also got better.  There was so much cruelty, but people were also
somehow kinder. Faith wasn’t just a thing for Sunday or something you said or
believed anymore.  People looked out for
one another like they hadn’t before, because you had to.  Cared more than before.  You either lived your faith in the real, took
risks for it, or you let it die.  Anyway,
that’s what I remember the most.  I remember
the other stuff, sure. But seeing people living their faith, and some surprising
people too.  That’s what I think about.” Mirum L.

–Stories from the Before Time

“Change is a funny thing.  When the world changed the first time, when everything
went bad seemingly at once, it was a shock. 
In retrospect, all that horror seemed inevitable. Like, those things,
after the virus, were the logical outcome of everything that came before, we
just couldn’t see it at the time. But now you say to yourself, “Of course!”  What we lost and how quickly we lost it, it seemed
shocking, but it really wasn’t. It was all so fragile, we couldn’t help but
break it with the things we did, the way we were. But then the world changed
again in a way that seemed impossible and still does.  The first changes we brought upon ourselves,
the loss and devastation, it was a logical consequence.  But what followed after wasn’t us.  It was God. 
He wasn’t done with us.  Yes,
there were those who had faith and prayed for God to end the suffering.  And He did, but in a way nobody
expected.  It wasn’t inevitable, it wasn’t
logical, it was grace.  He wasn’t done
with us.  He wasn’t done saving us from ourselves.
That is the really surprising thing, the miracle if you will. Don’t you think?” –Xavier C.
–Stories from the Before
“Perhaps I was naive, or things were just slow to dawn on me,
but not my Dad.  As the virus faded
somewhat, there were efforts to restart things in fits and starts.  But they always seemed to find a threat, a
rationale, a reason to shut down this or that business or geographic area.  We simply couldn’t gain any momentum and the
dependence on the government just became commonplace and accepted.  I think a lot of people found it easier to
rely on the government instead of themselves or they just got used to it.   My dad couldn’t do it though and a lot of
people developed resentment toward him.  Ultimately
it became dangerous and we decided to make the move to the free states even though
they weren’t called that then.  We did it
early and made it. My Dad always seemed to understand the nature of things
before others and was willing to act. 
Within six months, you could get shot for trying to leave.  My Dad bugged his brother and family to come,
but they just couldn’t accept the new reality. 
By the time they did, it was too late, they couldn’t get out.  They ended up on the other side of the war,
brother against brother.  It broke my
father’s heart.”  –G. Crittenden

–Stories from the Before
“All the things people and governments did to help; we didn’t
know would kill us.  It was so strange.  Late that spring, after the virus’ peak, with
so few government-approved butchering facilities, shuttered due to regulation
and fear, the normal supply lines just couldn’t process the meat.  Farmers and ranchers across the country had few
if any government-approved facilities to send their animals.  There were other alternative ways to get the
animals processed, but the governments wouldn’t allow it.  S.W.A.T. teams raided unauthorized facilities
just trying to get the meat to people. 
Ranchers and farmers faced ruin. 
They couldn’t afford to keep feeding their animals, but they had nowhere
to send them.  There were dozens of
videos showing farmers forced to cull their animals and bury their carcasses. People
were outraged at the farmers, but those farmers faced ruin if they kept the
animals.  But blaming was easier than
fixing.  The food chain was broken and
the last links in that chain, the poorest of the poor, suffered the most.  Farmers killed animals even as people starved.
But government thought it better they should starve than have unapproved
food.  Farmers went broke, animals became
compost, and people starved.  The very
people that fed the country and begged the government to get out of the way, received
the blame.  Bankrupt governments
bankrupted farmers and starved the country. 
Long after the virus had passed, people kept dying, because of the very rules
meant to protect them.” –Wilson G.
–Stories from the Before