The 2nd definition of a gambit has nothing to do with chess. A gambit can be “a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point”. Below are remarks to start a conversation. Ruth and I loved the 6 episode mini-series on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit. I had read the Tevis book too and liked it so much that I owned a copy. I have been sharing this with other readers, mostly in the family so far. Now I have another miniseries released in 2019 to watch based on another best seller from the last century, The Hot Zone.
I just got finished reading The Hot Zone, and it’s more relevant than ever thanks to COVID19. It truly still reads like a contemporary thriller. When it 1st came out during the middle of the last decade of the 20th century, master frightener Stephen King called it “one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever read”. This was during the AIDS crisis, and The Hot Zone refers to this repeatedly.
The Hot Zone dealt with an Ebola virus outbreak in the Washington, DC area. It was not widely known about until Richard Preston, who likes to write about science, released his book and it became a huge best seller. Fortunately, unlike COVID19 it died out before it killed anyone. Preston states in The Hot Zone, “To mess around with Ebola is an easy way to die.” This is still true, and now we are dealing with another virus that has killed almost 2 million people worldwide. This time last year we did not know it was going to happen. Another virus is inevitable.
The Hot Zone remains Richard Preston’s most notable work. He has written 3 novels and 5 true events books including Hot. I assume these 5 are non-fiction. His latest book is Crisis in the Red Zone published in 2019. It’s about the Ebola epidemic that mostly occurred in West Africa in 2013-14 and killed more than 11,000 humans before it was arrested. Public health measures were implemented that helped to stop it. We have all become used to health measures like social distancing since last March, and now lines are forming to get the vaccines that we are all hoping will eventually eliminate the COVID19 virus. It’s now said about the Ebola vaccine that it may have saved lives. What is clear is that other viruses will continue to haunt humanity.
For now, my plan is to watch National Geographic’s version of The Hot Zone, get a copy of Crisis in the Red Zone to read, and wait for my turn to get the COVID19 vaccine with the expectation that I can return to travel writing some time in 2021. I can’t believe that it took 25 years for The Hot Zone to be filmed. I look forward to a miniseries based on Crisis in the Red Zone.