AJ World History

2020 - The first pandemic, COVID-19. Biden elected President.

We need 99% of the world population to die out, so we're going with a phased death toll.

Contributing factors:
--Demographic cliff (currently facing, going to have too many old people, not enough replacements world wide between 2020 and 2050).
--Add a financial crisis (hyper inflation possible, or some sort of other crash) that makes health care access harder. So the death toll from current causes (heart disease, etc.) jumps and the medical system starts to break down.
--A new wave of viruses hit. It's common for a mutated strain to jump to animals and back to humans with mutations that make it deadlier and more contagious
--With the decay of the health care system, antibiotics, particularly new ones, will be rarer, allowing a resurgence in bacterial based infections (along with new antibiotic resistant strains)
--Then have a cyberwar hit (Chinese starting it because they are in serious trouble for arable land, oil, and other resources and have the worst demographic problem). Since so much of the infrastructure is internet connected, a lot of that starts going down. It only takes power being out for three days for most cities to run out of food and go into riots. Note that every chip manufactured in China will have a backdoor (ditto the USA and Europe, but we don't target those internally).
--Domestic terrorism would also rise
--When a hot war starts, it'll start with cyberwar and satellite war. It doesn't take much space junk to wipe out the satellites, so a first strike makes sense there.
--Once the satellite shooting starts, a few nukes could be loosed. If the USA SDI stuff works (and we can suppose that it does), only short range nukes or hypersonic can make it through. China takes out a few coastal cities before getting wiped from the Earth.
--If DC and New York are part of them, you have a US Govt. collapse.
--If New Orleans is hit, you have a trade collapse, since it's our #1 port for inland trade
--Realize the dust/dirt from China's obliteration will affect crops the next year.
--Could also have an EMP go off as part of the shooting war.
--Net result would be a massive failure just when the virus jumps in lethality. So no drug distributions, no way of coordinating medical supplies, a population already pre-conditioned to poor health.
--Boom. Massive deaths.
--Then recovery. Need power, materials, people, and the ability to do prototyping.
--Would get warlords springing up.
--Note that in ~15/25 years, bison and wild horses would boom, with the corresponding increase in wolves, brown bears, and mountain lions. Humans are the apex predator for buffalo because the Natives killed off any meaningful competition a few thousand years ago. Similarly, without humans stopping wolves/bears/mountain lions from leaving their parks, they'd spread out.
--So can get meat and fur from the animals.

  • everything below here pasted from other wiki*

The story takes place a few years after the collapse of civilization. I.e., we don't want the actual collapse or immediate recovery to be part of the story. There's been a few years to stabilize local pockets of government, but not enough time for those local pockets to have grown meaningfully. This is intended to give the feeling of a Western.

The collapse needs to have been primarily the loss of people, so something like a plague. There are plenty of opportunities for scavenging supplies, technology, etc. from the cities and towns of the prior civilization. The obvious locations (gun stores, etc.) have been cleaned out, but there's always the chance of finding something valuable in someone's ski chalet.

We'd worked out plans for a pandemic, but post-COVID all those are out the window (I was investigating genetically tailored viruses intended to wipe out certain ethnic groups, which of course mutated). People know more about how pandemics work and so we either have to be vague or come up with better details.

The novels will start in Western Colorado, so the focus will be on US history. However, the rest of the world needs to be similarly devastated so we don't have coherent parts of the world suddenly intervening. I.e., the pandemic can't spare the Chinese or any group capable of getting to Colorado within a few years of the collapse, or of maintaining various global infrastructure elements. It might be fun to have such a nation as a big baddie in future novels, but that's a long way out.

  • Dan's First Thoughts*

A multi-phasic collapse might be the most robust. Any one event will probably not be enough to bring civilization to its knees with mass death involved, but a series of them--for example: A plague happens. Your heroine retreats to her bolthole.

During the plague, while she's safely holed up, there's a Carrington event that knocks out 70-90% of the electrical infrastructure in the world plus all the newer vehicles and computerized things that aren't protected during the event (meaning only stuff in faraday cages or underground - mining equipment, emergency caches, etc. - or stuff that's been specifically hardened against such events, including a lot of stuff on naval vessels, etc.). Meanwhile, older mechanized tech will work, but fuel remains a problem since all modern fuel production requires a high degree of computerization.

Then, because of the Carrington event, either out of opportunism or existential necessity, a number of wars break out, racking the death toll higher.

Then, at the same time, there's a major volcanic eruption (Krakatoa scale or slightly larger) which gives a couple Years Without A Summer, creating global famine.

A succession of events like that, along with their logical consequences, would shatter global civilization.