JUST NOW: COVID-19 WAS ALLEGED BIOWEAPON DEVELOPED BY A CHINESE IN THE US LABORATORY IN BOSTON.
The world has been in a state of shock ever since the Coronavirus outbreak happened. With over 83,726 cases and 2,859 deaths, COVID-19 outbreak has caused global panic. Despite the city of Wuhan, which happens to be the epicentre of the outbreak, quarantined and flights to China suspended, the virus has crossed international borders.
Back home in India, 29 cases of coronavirus have been reported so far.
As the phrase goes, the ‘streets are talking’ and rumour mills are running overtime. Several sceptics and tin foil hat bearers have been speculating and there are plenty of coronavirus conspiracy theories doing the rounds on the Internet.
Here are some of the most spine-chilling, eerie and scary conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19.
Coronavirus Predicted In A Novel
This theory, in all probability, is the scariest one and will send chills down your spine. Soon after the news of the outbreak broke, several users started pointing out that a passage from the 1981 book ‘The Eyes of Darkness’ by Dean Koontz eerily predicts the Coronavirus outbreak.
The photograph of the passage from the book went viral in no time and netizens couldn’t help but freak out because the resemblance was uncanny and the evidence was hard to dismiss.
To give you some background, the plot is based around a mother who attempts to find out what happened to her son after he mysteriously disappeared on a camping trip. It turns out that the boy is held in China – more specifically in Wuhan - the site of a deadly virus outbreak.
In the passage, a character named Dombey narrates an account of a virus called ‘Wuhan-400’ which was developed at the RDNA lab outside the city of Wuhan, and ‘ it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research centre’.
The passage then gives intricate details about how the virus affects the human body. The chilling accuracy with which this 1981 book predicts the outbreak and the resemblance between ‘Wuhan-400’ and Coronavirus.
Is Coronavirus A Bioweapon?
The Internet was brimming with conspiracies about the coronavirus, and, perhaps, one of the most prominent ones was that the virus could be a bioweapon. According to an ET Prime report, a group of Chinese scientists in Canada were accused of spying and were stripped of their access to Canada’s National Microbiology Lab (NML) which is known to work on some of the most deadly pathogens.
The alleged ‘policy breach’, highlighted the bioweapon program of other countries including China. Dr Francis Boyle, the creator of Bio Weapons Act, also claims that ‘the coronavirus is an offensive biological warfare weapon with DNA-genetic engineering’.
Again, the claims about coronavirus being a biological weapon are unsubstantiated.
Also Read: Is your beard putting you at risk of coronavirus?
Origins in the seafood market?
Scientists haven’t been able to determine the origin of COVID-19 but speculations are rife that the virus originated in the seafood market. This was substantiated by reports from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization which said that “most” cases had links to the seafood market, which was closed on 1 January.
Sceptics on the online forums, however, have been sharing suspicions that the virus could have originated from Wuhan, Institute of Virology, which houses China’s only level- four biosafety laboratory (the highest-level classification of labs that study the deadliest viruses).
The first prominent personality to come out publicly and support the theory was the US senator Tom Cotton who appeared on Fox News to allege that the virus could indeed have originated from the lab.
Several netizens have also been alleging that this was an attempt to control the Chinese population. However, the claims are unsubstantiated
Not As Dangerous As SARS
Sceptics are almost everywhere. When the news about coronavirus spread, several skeptics on social media started accusing the global media of creating unnecessary panic around the novel coronavirus.
Netizens all over the world started comparing the outbreak to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak which happened in 2003. Scientists argued that more contagious the virus, lesser is the mortality rate, which simply means that viruses which are highly contagious are less deadly.
The mortality rate for coronavirus as per a CIDRAP report is 2.3% while for SARS, it was a whopping 9.6%.
Is the media unnecessarily hyping up the pandemic? Or is the ‘2% mortality rate’ argument baseless?
Did Simpsons Predict The Outbreak?
‘The Simpsons’ is popular for various reasons. It is, of course, the longest running primetime scripted series and has won several accolades too.