NurPhoto/GettyA few years ago, some friends and I spent four days trespassing on blasted land though the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to the exploded nuclear reactor at the center of it. I had been doing research with doomsday preppers, people who imagine the world is entering a terminal phase, and though I justified the trip as “research,” it still felt a fool’s errand, a rash attempt to get a glimpse of the post-apocalyptic world the preppers were so infatuated with. Yet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve come to understand that our journey was less about adventure, or the aesthetics of decay – it was training for world we now inhabit. Nuclear catastrophe taught us that the apocalypse could be invisible. The climate crisis offered a more sluggish variation on the end times. The virus makes clear that we are disaster’s intimate host. Everywhere I turn now, I see disaster stalking us, and I court it.—Bradley GarrettPopping the hatch at the top of the stairwell on the fifteenth floor of the abandoned tower block, we were greeted with a rare spectacle: lightning forking over the most dangerous place on Earth. We were at the center of the doomed city of Pripyat, an hour’s walk from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in 1986. The red lights along the spine of the new sarcophagus encasing that seeping radioactive tragedy seemed to dance with the bolts streaming down from the ether, performing an atmospheric ballet.“Is this what the world would look like after the apocalypse?” I asked my fellow trespassers.Read more at The Daily Beast.