When TV series 'The Dead Zone' predicted the spread of 'a virus from China' in 2003
When TV series 'The Dead Zone' predicted the spread of 'a virus from China' in 2003

After 'Contagion' and 'My Secret Terrius' that indirectly predicted coronavirus long ago onscreen, the recent addition to the list is American/Canadian TV series 'The Dead Zone'. It is a science fiction drama starring Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, who discovers he has developed psychic abilities after a coma. The show that aired six seasons is based on characters from Stephen King's 1979 novel of the same name.

The second season’s 14th episode titled ‘Plague’ takes the audience to witness the exact chain of events as seen during the ongoing crisis. The protagonist Johnny Smith has a vision of school children becoming extremely ill after they are infected by a mysterious virus. He teams up with the town sheriff and proposes a lockdown of the school building, since those exposed need to be quarantined.

The interesting part however is when the health inspector, while investigation suggests that the virus came from China. He also asks one of the patients if she came in contact with an animal. Besides that, the episode also states the use of masks and hazmat suits to prevent the virus for those working on the front line. Furthermore, Smith also suggests the use of anti-malaria drug Chloroquine, which was distributed by India to US and Brazil to fight the COVID-19 battle.

South Korean drama 'My Secret Terrius', which released in 2018, has its 10th episode based on the coronavirus. “MERS, SARS, the common flu. They all fall in the same gene family with the same gene information. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. During the 2015 MERS epidemic, the mortality rate was over 20 percent,” says the doctor in the show.

“But that’s not serious enough to be used as a weapon. Am I wrong?” asks the other person, to which the doctor states, “Like I said, this is a mutant virus. Someone tweaked it to increase the mortality rate to 90 per cent,” she adds.

Steven Soderbergh's 2011 directorial 'Contagion' became the most-watched films amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. It revolves around the spread of a virus transmitted by fomites, which is brought to a halt with the help of a vaccine. However it touches upon the attempts made by medical researchers and public health officials to identify and contain the disease, amid the loss of social order due to the pandemic.

Besides the film, a 2008 book named Heart of Darkness by Dean Koontz also made headlines for predicting an outbreak 'around 2020'. While the coronavirus outbreak isn’t exactly as per the book, but the narrative has its set of similarities.

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