Hi everyone, I saw a thread here earlier about general querying during these times, but I'd like to ask specifically about pandemic-related projects.

I've seen a lot of posts and articles discouraging authors from querying or even writing novels about the pandemic. Unfortunately, my WIP is set after the pandemic in a hypothetical future, but it's meant to be a literary coming-of-age story rather than anything apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic. It is not dark in tone or theme, but the protagonist does deal with likely post-pandemic issues such as increased xenophobia and a tougher job market.

What I've read on social media and online articles, however, makes me afraid that projects like mine might be dismissed in the current market. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on how (or whether) to proceed with such a project, or if anyone else is struggling with similar questions.

For some additional context, I queried 10 agents a couple weeks ago (admittedly too early; I've since gone through more revisions and am planning to seek more feedback before trying again). I received three form rejections and one very nice personalized rejection from an agent who liked the premise and setting but didn't love the first 5 pages. I'm hoping that means that my post-pandemic setting isn't a fatal flaw if I revise the story itself more, but it's not a huge sample size. I'd love to hear people's thoughts before I drive myself crazy wondering if this novel is even worth querying or working on anymore. Thank you everyone!