Call them predictions or just lucky guesses, but these moments eerily predicted and foreshadowed the coronavirus pandemic that we are currently facing.
It’s safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic we are experiencing now is unlike that of anything we have experienced in our lives thus far. Technically, coronavirus is not a new term or disease. It is a virus that has been known to man for decades. SARS and MERS are known strains of the coronavirus, but the one we are experiencing now, COVID-19, is new to humans. This is why the world has been mostly unprepared to handle COVID-19 and why no immediate cure is currently available. But how would you react knowing that COVID-19 was actually something predicted in the past?
As crazy as it sounds, the pandemic we are facing now has been predicted or foreshadowed in certain entertainment properties, if not in its entirety, then parts of it. Whether you consider these truth-tellers or just plain coincidence, here are 7 pop culture moments that foreshadowed the coronavirus pandemic.
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My Secret Terrius
Originally airing in 2018, My Secret Terrius is a K-Drama about a secret agent who tries to solve the mystery behind a neighbor’s death. When the pandemic started to make its way around the world in early 2020, the show went viral on social media for having a scene that predicted the coronavirus pandemic. At the 53 minute mark on the 10th episode, a doctor can be heard saying “The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system” and “What’s more serious is that the coronavirus has an incubation period of two to 14 days.” In the show’s lore, the coronavirus was genetically altered to become a biological weapon that attacked the lungs and had a 90% mortality rate.
Pandemic – Dr. Creep, Lone Ninja, and DJ Madhandz
Most people may not have heard of American rapper Dr. Creep, but he started to gain a lot of attention in the past year thanks to an obscure song he released in 2013 called Pandemic. The song generally talks about how the world would react if it was facing a pandemic. But what got a lot of people talking was the line “2020 combined with coronavirus, bodies stacking.” Again, coronavirus isn’t a new word, but with the inclusion of “2020” and “bodies stacking” in the sentence have convinced some people that Dr. Creep foreshadowed the pandemic.
As the song and music video started to gain steam, Dr. Creep released a statement explaining, “There were already six or so coronaviruses in 2012/2013 when the Pandemic song was created. A coronavirus was being talked about a lot at the time. As for mentioning 2020, well 2020-2030 was just significant years to me, as well as many other people that are educated on these esoteric topics. 10 years ago it was said that 2012 was nothing to worry about, it’s 2020-30 to pay attention to. To me, the lyrics are just more of a coincidence than a prediction. I don’t feel I was “trying” to predict anything. I just rapped about what I was watching.”
Young Sheldon features an episode that shows its protagonist deal with a pandemic similar to the one we are facing now. In season one, episode 13 aptly called A Sneeze, Detention, and Sissy Spacek, a flu-like virus hits the hometown of the young Sheldon. In the episode, he is seen wearing a face mask, refuses to be in the same room as anyone who sneezes, and keeps a safe distance from everyone else. He’s basically practicing social distancing and doing the safety measures we are doing now. Most importantly, he is watching a news report about the virus and you can hear a line that goes “Doctors say the strain, originating in China, is particularly severe. Children and the elderly are most at risk.” Also, in The Big Bang Theory, the older Sheldon is known to be very particular about sickness and diseases, even going to great lengths to prepare an escape plan in case of a potential outbreak of any sort.
End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World
Sylvia Browne is a self-described American psychic, medium, and author. Before her passing in 2013, Sylvia worked with the parents to help them find their missing children. She was also a controversial figure who was criticized for preying on grieving parents and making wrong predictions. But one prediction that got a lot of people talking was one she made about the pandemic all the way back in 2008.
In her book, End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World, Sylvia predicted that “In around 2020, a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.” She also adds, “Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it has arrived, attack again in 10 years, and then disappear completely.” While the second half of the prediction has not come true, the first half convinced a lot of people to buy the book and it soon became a bestseller.
Contagion was released back in 2011 and was co-written and directed by Stephen Soderbergh. It features an all-star cast that includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, and Kate Winslet. The film centers on a fictional illness called MEV-1 that kills 26 million people worldwide. Contagion started to get more popular during the early days of COVID-19 for its timely subject matter. The movie has the virus start in Asia, specifically Hong Kong, and is easily transmitted through touch. The characters even talk about the concept of social distancing. The movie was praised for its accuracy of how a deadly, transmissible, virus could spread around the world and how governments would respond to it.
Contagion was also lauded for how it predicted conspiracy theories and disinformation would spread along with the virus. Jude Law plays Alan Krumwiede, one of the first people to get infected by MEV-1 and survive. For the rest of the film, he serves as the antagonist of sorts, telling people that the virus is not real and the government is lying to them. He even tries to sell pseudo-cure for the disease and dissuades people from taking the vaccine. It’s eerily accurate to how people in the real world are peddling fake news and pseudo-science about COVID-19.
The Eyes of Darkness
The Eyes of Darkness is a horror novel written by Dean Koontz in 1981. The book revolves around a grieving mother investigating the mysterious circumstances of her son’s death. In the book, one of the characters talks about a killer virus known as Wuhan-400, yes that Wuhan. The book paints the virus as a biological weapon created by the Chinese. “A Chinese scientist defected to the United States, carrying a diskette record of China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon in decades.”
The Simpsons have been known to accurately predict a lot of things, from Donald Trump being president to Disney buying Fox. The show can also include COVID-19 in its list of predictions, though this isn’t their most accurate. Originally aired in 1993, there is an episode in season four of The Simpsons called Marge in Chains. The main plot revolves around Marge being mistaken for shoplifting and sent to jail.
But what caught people’s attention was that the episode featured the flu infecting most of Springfield. The virus was called the Osaka Flu. A scene is shown where a visibly infected Japanese factory worker coughs on a package that is then sent to the US. This then causes everyone else to get infected.
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