People think Stephen King predicted the Coronavirus in The Stand

By March 11, 2020Literature, News

Readers worldwide are turning to books for distraction and comfort amidst the worry of a spreading virus, but for some it isn’t quite working.

The coronavirus outbreak is causing a lot of panic online, much of it exacerbated by click bait headlines and dramatic articles. Quite surprisingly, the news about the coronavirus has prompted many readers to jump into fictional depictions of pandemics.

While some have noticed parallels between the outbreak and The Eyes of Darkness​ by Dean Koontz in 1981, another novel some have raised an eyebrow at is The Stand by Stephen King where an outbreak of a super-flu (nicknamed Captain Trips) shows some tenuous similarities to coronavirus.

The coronavirus, or Covid-19, is nothing compared to King’s fictional super-flu, of course. Covid-19 currently got an estimated fatality rate of a bit above 3 per cent, which isn’t much higher than seasonal flu and well below previous coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS. The reaction of readers is merely a bit of banter while we try not to panic about a potentially troubling viral pandemic. It is kind of what we do… Read and reflect while the world panics.

While Covid-19 is dangerous, especially for those whose health isn’t top notch, Stephen King’s fictional Captain Trips flu is far deadlier- wiping away 99.98 per cent of the world’s population. The comparisons online between the fictional and the current outbreak have been roundly dismissed by King, who took to Twitter to deny any similarities.

While King strongly denies any comparison, some of his fans disagree that there is no need to be alarmed.

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