For those horror fans who aren’t incurably addicted to social media and/or coronavirus updates, recently spoke out on about the pandemic making its way across the globe. In fact, he wants people to stop comparing the coronavirus to the fictional disease he dreamed up in his 1978 post-apocalyptic classic The Stand.
Here's what King had to say:
No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It's not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.
King certainly has a point. In the author's pandemic horror novel, the U.S. military weaponizes a strain of influenza for use as a biological weapon. The highly contagious strain gets out, sweeping across the globe and laying waste to most of humanity. The coronavirus, by contrast, originates in animals, with cross-infection first detected in China. While over 99% of the world’s population perishes in The Stand, the global casualty rate of the coronavirus is currently around 4,300 of those estimated 120,000 infected. While King’s weaponized flu spreads indiscriminately, we should remember that those most susceptible to the coronavirus are older adults and individuals with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. Lastly, while society collapsed under the weight of panic in The Stand, it’s important to take King's parting words of wisdom to heart: remain calm and considerate and practice all reasonable precautions like washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings.
While we shouldn't equate the reality of the coronavirus with the fictional doom of King’s imagined flu, a little catharsis through horror never hurt anyone. Indeed, the author himself recently got in on the morbid fun by sharing a Pennywise-themed coronavirus meme. Along with the rise in popularity of 2011's —currently hovering at the top of the iTunes charts—there are plenty of other available for your streaming pleasure. Or, if you need to get your mind as far away from the coronavirus troubles as you can, maybe check out some great himself or perhaps some Stephen King quotes.
Feature photo: Alchetron