Was COVID-19 predicted by Dean Koontz?
By Athena Little, Illustrator
Recently, a theory about coronavirus has taken social media by storm. The claims being that the American author Dean Koontz had predicted the current outbreak back in 1981. In the pictures posted online, there is the cover of The Eyes of Darkness along with a page from the book that describes the virus. In another picture, text shows both the year as well as explaining pneumonia-like symptoms. So, is this fact or fiction?
Koontz did write about a fictional virus which had started in Wuhan, similar to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the virus itself differs greatly. The novel’s virus, called Wuhan-400, has an incubation period of around four hours. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incubation period for COVID-19 is on average five days—often in the range of one to fourteen. While the real virus also has a fatality rate “of roughly 1 percent” according to The Guardian, Koontz’s Wuhan-400 has a 100 percent fatality rate. That’s a pretty stark difference.
A vast difference is also noticed in symptoms. Wuhan-400 is a toxin that destroys brain tissue. COVID-19 ranges from fever, pneumonia, coughing, and other various breathing issues. More intense cases may include kidney failure, or death. Wuhan-400 is more of a biological weapon, being much more severe and deadly to anyone and everyone.
trying to further this creepy prediction, social media also offered a page
which read “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread
throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting
all known treatments.” This passage in fact does not come from The Eyes of
Darkness, but instead from the 2008 book End of Days: Predictions and
Prophecies about the End of the World by American author Sylvia Browne.
the claim that Dean Koontz had somehow predicted the future with his book is
only a half truth. It may share a few facts, such as country of origin, or that
it is a virus, but the description otherwise shares no other currently known similarities
with the current COVID-19.