With so many post-apocalyptical / dystopian stories, I thought I'd look at different scenarios that could bring about the apocalypse. Today - A Virus:
So it's come out in some way, shape, or form. Monkeys are being tested on in a lab and the monkeys get out and bite someone - 28 Day's Later. A government facility fails to contain their latest virus - The Stand.
It's been used before and it will continue to be used. It makes sense, a virus can be caught and can travel great distances. How it travels depends on the virus. It can be transferred through bodily fluids, or in the case of The Stand, it can be airborne. There's a wonderful chapter early on in The Stand that tracks the virus as it travels across America. It's the first time that I've read something from the virus' perspective. The great thing about making it airborne is that survival only happens because of an immunity to it. It's a total lottery and the story is more about who's left than actually surviving the event. When it is transferred through bodily fluids, anyone can survive and you have the suspense that at any point, a zombie could be biting your face off. That fear never goes away.
When I'm being entertained by post-apocalyptical stories, I much prefer the latter. Zombies creep me out, so the thought of being hunted by them is petrifying. The opening twenty minutes from 28 Weeks Later is truly horrifying. The guy leaves his wife behind! My only real criticism is that when the main characters in these stories bludgeon the zombies to death, blood smothering their faces in the process, they seem okay. Yet when a drop of blood falls from a crow's beak and lands in someone's eye - Boom!
Viruses seem like a plausible reason for an apocalypse. A read through history books tells us that.