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After coronavirus, we’ll never look at cool pandemic movies and books the same way again (opinion)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – I love books and movies about plagues and pandemics.

I’ve read “The Stand” by Stephen King too many times to count.

It tells the story of a government-created plague, dubbed “Captain Trips,” that gets loose of the lab and wipes out most of humanity, leading the survivors to a supernatural struggle between good and evil.

It’s my favorite of King’s ocean of books and could be my favorite book period. It’s probably time to give it a re-read.

But it might be all too real these days. We’ve got our own pandemic to deal with, although it’s not as apocalyptic as the biblical superflu that King came up with.

Earlier in our own plague year of 2020, I re-watched “Outbreak,” a pandemic movie starring Dustin Hoffman.

It has all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from the genre: A mystery about how and where the virus started. Evil military men hiding a secret. Authorities lying to the population about the severity of the situation. Heroic health-care workers risking their lives to save millions of others.

And, of course, I spent a couple of years watching “The Walking Dead.” Until I realized that there was no finish line in sight, that Sheriff Rick and the rest of them would always realize that the new town they’d found was no safe haven after all, that someone would always be gunning for them, that there would be no happy ending.

I have other plague-time favorites: “12 Monkeys” is a classic. So is “28 Days Later.” The book “World War Z” was great, far better than the movie. “Contagion” was OK. I can pretty much watch or read anything that

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