Diamond Princess coronavirus quarantine ship
The Diamond Princess sits docked in Circular Quay, Sydney in 2009 (Image: AAP/Paul Miller)

Have we had enough of cruise-ship disasters as metaphors for modernity by now?

The recently released inmates of the Diamond Princess were doing double-duty: incarcerated to protect us all from the further spread of Covid-19 (the exciting new name for coronavirus), they were also a floating image of recent decades, a pricey, pointless "pleasure" cruise that soon became a nautical hell, with guests confined to their cabins for a fortnight.

The food was terrible, outdoor exercise was minimal, and eventually the porn channel on the in-ship cable was made free, with the hope, I presume, that the guests-turned-inmates would wank themselves into a complaisant torpor.