FIRST, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR ANSWERS!
I will re-read all your advice carefully when I decide to work on my comic again. Sorry if some of my answers are a bit negative or don't look appreciative enough; I'm just not feeling good with my story right now, but all your advice will help and I'm really grateful for every answer I'm getting
I'm entirely against this type of censorship (and censorship in general with very few exceptions), so that will not happen, for sure.
If my story was a dystopia or a realistic portrayal of an infectious disease, I would not worry. I would maybe go with a warning and that's all. But... that's really not what I want to do, and I could not even do that if I wanted, because even if the epidemic is structurally VERY important, it is still only a piece of the puzzle, and has relatively little 'screen time' compared to other topics.
Good point about the different symptoms. I did not decide specifics yet, but you are right, I'd better make them very different to create some distance.
I'll try to make it as different as I can. The only thing I can't change at all (and that worries me) is the most affected age group, because I'm too late into my story to give another explanation to why there are no old persons anymore in my world
That's not really my worry. And I'm sure plenty of people will get inspiration from the current event for the worse, but also the better. It's really the impact on the tone of my story that bother me a lot.
Sure, I would not like to upset people, but aside from that, if I need a warning, that means in itself that my story does not go anymore where I wanted it to go. I want it appeased and nostalgic. The (even slight) necessity of a warning would be enough to make me want to rewrite entirely It's true that it's a more localized event, but will people really think of that difference when they read? It's not so much that I don't want to write about epi/pandemics, it's more that I don't want to write about them in this story. Yes, I did, but when it was not very significant to most people.. that's the issue. I can't say it makes me uncomfortable because of the IRL situation, it's more because it's changing so drastically my story. It's a bit selfish I suppose. It's just that I spend so much time on the complicated structure of my story, and I feel I see it crumbling in front of my eyes..
I don't think the two endings are possible with my story structure, It's a family saga sort of, and the epidemic is in the first generation, so it's kind of.. the beginning!
I'm not afraid of being exploitative, especially with how small I am as a creator. But good idea, I could put a note if I decide to not rewrite everything to get rid of the disease entirely.
Problem is my story is not apocalyptic at all. It's a Antiquity/Medieval fantasy story where people are kind of expecting plagues and accepting them, but giving them unrealistic causes. The disease was supposed to be believable so it would not look like something magical (for eg.) to the reader, there was supposed to be fear, grieving relatives and long term consequences, but not at all in a modern and/or realistic mood. I'm afraid of the unwanted dose of realism that will be forced into my story. I think that's the best way to explain, actually.
You're right, and you are giving me an idea: less drastic than rewriting everything, I could restructure my story to let more time pass. I can actually gain one whole year by simply reintroducing 2 chapters that I was planning to publish separately (pushing the plague to later by botanical expedition and nerdy romance, how does that look? haha). I'm not enthusiastic about it (there is a reason I wanted to publish that aside. It does not fit super well into the general story structure), but that's one option.