Back in 1981, author Dean Koontz wrote a dystopian novel entitled The Eyes of Darkness, which centered around the fictional “Wuhan-400”, a Coronavirus-like disease. Looking back, it almost seems like the book predicted the current pandemic. However, let’s take a look at just how close the book is to real-life…
Dean Koontz and Coronavirus?
Without a doubt, the biggest story of this year is the current coronavirus pandemic. As you’ve likely seen in the news, the quick and sudden spread of the coronavirus has sent people into a panic. Of course, in times of fear and desperation, many conspiracy theories begin to emerge: where did the coronavirus really come from? Who’s in charge? What will happen next?
One of the strangest connections came in late February when a Twitter user Nick Hinton made a bizarre discovery. He posted a paragraph from the 1981 book The Eyes Of Darkness by American author Dean Koontz which seemed to “predict” the current coronavirus. From there, the post caught on like a contagious virus of its own, leading to even more conspiracy theories. However, if one looks closer, the connections are entirely surface-level. Let’s take a look!
Debunking And Fact-Checking
The quote in question, seen the photo above, reads: “They call the stuff ‘Wuhan-400’ because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside of the city of Wuhan, and It was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center.”
Already, you can see that little of what Koontz wrote actually corresponds to the current virus, outside of the name. COVID-19 came from animals, not a research facility. In fact, the Koontz writes in the book that “no other living creature can carry it,” outside of humans. In the case of the coronavirus, all evidence suggests that the virus spread from animals to humans, much like SARS.
Furthermore, the virus in The Eyes of Darkness features a 100% mortality rate and “eats away brain tissue like battery acid dissolving cheesecloth.” Meanwhile, the coronavirus has a 2-3% mortality rate, and its symptoms are coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. So, outside of the name, Koontz’s “Wuhan-400” has little in common with the coronavirus. But that hasn’t stopped people from spreading the fake news…
Listen To Instructions And Stay Calm
It’s understandable why some would jump to conspiracy theories. After all, this is a frightening pandemic. However, it’s essential to let go of the fear and hold on to the facts. So, while it can be amusing to talk about Dean Koontz predicting the future, just like the Simpsons predicted Game of Thrones, there’s no need to believe the author actually predicted anything.
And Dean Koontz is not the only one! Others have compared Stephen King’s novel The Stand to the current outbreak, which King hated. Meanwhile, others have found another curious passage from infamous psychic Sylvia Browne’s book End of Days. “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness would spread throughout the globe,” it reads.
But all this makes complete sense. Humans are frightened of disease, so of course horror authors will use it as the basis of their novels! Films like Outbreak and Contagion also look like current new stories. However, these are simply fictions, created by talented professionals. Instead of using making these fictions fact, follow the advice of doctors: wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and practice social distancing.