The fact that the world’s most famous radioactive hellhole is mere hours away from being engulfed by unprecedentedly savage wildfires barely rates a mention amongst all the crazy shit that’s going down this year, multiple sources have confirmed.
Chernobyl, the former nuclear power plant made famous by the 2019 miniseries and the 1986 near-world-ending catastrophe – in that order – is under threat from an out-of-control wildfire that’s just a kilometre away from its borders. Even the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that the fires have caused radiation in the region to rise sharply.
What happens if the fire breaches the complex and stirs up all the radioactive shit buried there is anyone’s guess. But thanks to COVID-19, climate change, and the worst global recession of our lifetime, humanity doesn’t currently have time to worry about any of that.
“In the absolute clusterfuck that is 2020, this story about Chernobyl going up in flames and potentially spewing deadly radioactive fumes into the air rates about a five out of 10 on the ‘HOLY FUCK’ scale,” a News Corp marketing executive told The Tragic Traveller.
“Don’t get me wrong, we journalists love the whole “nuclear catastrophe wiping out Eastern Europe” narrative. But it’s very 1980s, don’t you think? Today’s readers prefer their apocalypses to come in the form of pandemics, climate-triggered natural disasters, or alien invasions.”
“We’re saving the alien story for October,” she added conspiratorially, with a wink and a smile.
In a twist that sums up late capitalism perfectly, there’s also a tourism angle to this story. According to the BBC, the Chernobyl/Pripyat region attracted more than 70,000 tourists in 2018, and many more than that last year.
If this fire engulfs Pripyat, the local economy will be severely affected, a fate that, if many of the world’s leaders are to be believed, is worse than being burned alive or dying from uranium poisoning.
At publication time, the world’s leading climate change deniers were trying to work out how to explain why forests in one of the world’s coldest countries were burning out of control TWO MONTHS BEFORE SUMMER HAD EVEN BEGUN FOR FUCK’S SAKE.