A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Is it Deja Vu or are 2020 and 2024 the same?

Here we go again…
Illustration by Anthony Solorzano

Trump vs. Biden as primary presidential candidates in an election year, Taylor Swift took home a Grammy for Album of the Year, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl with a game-winning drive from Patrick Mahomes and now another public health crisis?

Is it 2024 or 2020? It’s starting to feel like deja vu.

Yes, another possible global pandemic may be on the rise. According to Reuters News, in August 2023, China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia reported two cases of bubonic plague on Saturday, Aug. 12, following a previous infection that was detected five days prior, said the local government.

The two people infected are the husband and daughter of the previous case, the government stated on its website. All close contacts have been quarantined and have shown no abnormal symptoms, according to the statement.

Fast forward to March 12, 2024, a New Mexico man has died after contracting the bubonic plague, the state’s health department said in a news release last Friday according to USA Today.

According to the NMDOH, the man’s death was the first reported human case of the bubonic plague in New Mexico since 2021 and the first death since 2020, when there were four reported human cases of the plague in the state.

Like CJ from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas said, “Ah shit! Here we go again.”

Okay script writers, who is behind these parallel events and is Denzel attempting to alter the past? Is he trying to save us from another global outbreak? Is he being sidetracked by trying to change the outcome of the upcoming election? Did he try to change the outcome of the Super Bowl or the Grammy results?

The sci-fi action thriller, “Deja Vu,” starring Denzel Washington who plays Doug Carlin, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive agent, follows Carlin who is investigating a terrorist attack in New Orleans, Louisiana resulting in the death of 543 people.

Carlin discovers evidence of a bomb planted by a domestic terrorist and examines the body of Claire Kuchever, seemingly killed in the explosion but found in the river shortly before the time of the blast.

Is there a special agent sent four years into the past to change the outcome of the disastrous year known as 2020? Is it actually 2024? What would you change in 2020?

Carlin discovers a top-secret government program about a machine called the “Snow White.” Located under the workshop of an abandoned building, “Snow White” operated on the principle of the Einstein-Rosenberg bridge making it possible for the agency to devise an algorithm to look four days and six hours ago into the past.

Denny, played by Adam Goldberg, explains to Carlin that they created an instantaneous link between two distinct points using huge amounts of energy; an amount of energy that could black out approximately 50 million homes.

If any person, alphabet boy not, were given the opportunity to travel back in time and prevent a global pandemic from occurring, make Trump the winner of the presidential election, prevent the Chiefs from birthing an NFL dynasty or give Beyonce Album of the Year instead of Taylor Swift.

Using this technology, Carlin attempts to prevent the attack from happening by altering events in the past. Convinced that Claire is a vital link, Doug observes her past footage and is able to track the soon-to-be-bomber when he calls about a truck she has for sale.

Imagine if someone were able to go back to Aug. 4, 2023 and prevent the Mongolian father and daughter from being infected by the bubonic plague, prevent the New Mexico resident from contracting it, rigging the presidential election to be favor one candidate over the other or convincing Kyle Shanahan to differ the overtime possession in the Super Bowl.

The thought of altering the fabric of history to your will is a power temptation must not be in control of. Just because you can change the outcome in the past to create a new future, does not mean you should be selfish.

Sometimes the greater good outweighs personal interests. Carlin runs into this moral dilemma.

While in the past, Carlin becomes hellbent on saving Kuchever and alters the past even more by attempting to leave himself a note with the time and place the suspect will be. His partner Larry Minuti, played by Matt Craven, finds the note instead and is shot attempting to arrest the suspect. By using a mobile Snow White unit, Doug is able to follow the suspect’s past movements as he flees to his hideout with the wounded Minuti, and then witnesses Minuti’s murder.

Faced with a moral dilemma of saving one life and personal interest versus the lives of 543 people, Carlin attempts the impossible and tries to do both.

The question becomes: are we actually in 2024 or is it still 2020? If so, is there a government entity with the capability of sending individuals to the past while trying to alter events that happened in 2020 to prevent them from repeating in the future? Could they be sent back in time to China or New Mexico attempting to locate the link to prevent the outbreak of the bubonic plague and right the wrongs of the world ignoring the telltale signs of the COVID-19 pandemic?

As more time passes, the events of 2020 are beginning to repeat themselves in 2024: the Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl, Taylor Swift won a Grammy for Album of the year and the resurgence of 90’s and 00’s nostalgia.

If you are reading this Doug Carlin, you now face a similar dilemma as you did in New Orleans: prevent a dormant disease resurging in case numbers originating from China that is now stateside for the greater good or focus on his side quest of altering the outcome of the presidential election.

Only time will tell.

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About the Contributor
Robbie Doctor, Managing Editor
Robbie Asuncion Doctor is the Managing Editor. He has been on staff since Fall 2021 and is an avid Sports and A&E reporter. Some of his favorite hobbies when not watching sports or movies include cooking, martial arts, traveling and wine tasting. A piece of advice he would give to his younger self is never hesitate to ask for help and trust your instincts. His biggest pet peeve is drivers who don’t use their turn signals. Email: [email protected]

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