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Netizens believe the coronavirus epidemic was predicted years ago by Sylvia Browne and Dean Koontz

Social media is full of theories that the current coronavirus epidemic was predicted by many, years ago.

Netizens believe the coronavirus epidemic was predicted years ago by Sylvia Browne and Dean Koontz
Image Source: Twitter/John Scotting Leveller

While every day brings more worrisome news of the coronavirus epidemic, netizens are losing their minds over conspiracy theories suggesting that the outbreak was predicted years ago by many. After spending the past few weeks toying with the idea that the virus was predicted by the 16th-century prophet Nostradamus and the Christian bible, social media is now rife with theories that author Dean Koontz and the self-professed psychic Sylvia Browne also foresaw the crisis. While Koontz is said to have written about a coronavirus disease called Wuhan-400 in his 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness, some claim Browne wrote of a pneumonia outbreak ravaging the world in her 2008 book End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World.


According to Express, Browne's End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World includes a brief passage that reads: 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. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it has arrived, attack again 10 years later, and then disappear completely.


Meanwhile, there are also theories that the bestselling suspense author Koontz made a more accurate prediction about the epidemic in his book, The Eyes of Darkness. According to the South China Morning Post, the 1981 thriller describes a Chinese military lab located in Wuhan—the epicenter of the current coronavirus outbreak—that creates a virus as part of its biological weapons program. A passage from the book reads: It was around that time that a Chinese scientist named Li Chen moved to the United States while carrying a floppy disk of data from China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon of the past decade. They call it Wuhan-400 because it was developed in their RDNA laboratory just outside the city of Wuhan.


To add to the existing theories, China’s only level four biosafety laboratory (the highest-level classification of labs that study the deadliest viruses), the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is located about 20 miles from the city of Wuhan. While some have floated conspiracies that the current epidemic is man-made (as in Koontz's book) and that it may have escaped from the Wuhan virology lab, scientists have strongly condemned these rumors, stating that "the rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumors and misinformation around its origins."


However, the question still remains as to how Koontz was able to write about a virus that "only affects humans" nearly 4 decades ago. Albert Wan, who runs the Bleak House Books store in San Po Kong, has a possible explanation for the uncanny coincidence. Clarifying that Wuhan has historically been the site of numerous scientific research facilities, Wan said, "Smart, savvy writers like Koontz would have known all this and used this bit of factual information to craft a story that is both convincing and unsettling. Hence the Wuhan-400."


British writer Paul French, who specializes in books about China, revealed that such storylines about viruses originating from the East Asian nation can be traced back to the second world war. "The Japanese definitely did do chemical weapons research in China, which we mostly associate with Unit 731 in Harbin and northern China. But they also stored chemical weapons in Wuhan – which Japan admitted," he said. Meanwhile, Hong Kong crime author Chan Ho-kei believes this kind of "fiction-prophecy" is not a rare occurrence.


"If you look really hard, I bet you can spot prophecies for almost all events. It makes me think about the ‘infinite monkey’ theorem. The probability is low, but not impossible. Fiction writers always try to imagine what the reality would be, so it’s very likely to write something like a prediction. Of course, it’s bizarre when the details collide, but I think it’s just a matter of mathematics," said Chan.

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