Oscar Wilde once wrote that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" but when it comes to the still-unfolding coronavirus outbreak author Stephen King wants fans to know that one piece of art life is certainly not imitating is his novel, The Stand. King took to social media on Sunday to denounce comparisons between the postapocalyptic horror/fantasy work and the current COVID-19 pandemic that has infected at least 109,000 people worldwide.
"No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND," King wrote. "It's not anywhere near as serious. It's eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions."
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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 8, 2020
For those who aren't familiar, The Stand tells a story about the total breakdown of human society after the accidental release of an influenza strain modified for biological warfare triggers a horrific, apocalyptic pandemic that kills 99 percent of the entire world's human population as well as most of the animal population as well. In The Stand, the weaponized flu is resistant to antibodies, vaccines and most forms of treatment and is 100 percent contagious.
In contrast, the coronavirus outbreak that is current cause for alarm across the globe isn't nearly as devastating. While the COVID-19 illness is continuing to spread, it appears to be far less contagious and appears to pose the most threat to those who are older with underlying medical conditions, as has been the case with most of the deaths in the United States' worst outbreak in King County, Washington. Most public health organizations have suggested that the best prevention for the coronavirus is comprised of simple, basic measures, including avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, stay home when sick, and proper, frequent handwashing -- all things that wouldn't have done anything against The Stand's superflu.
King isn't just weighing in on the comparison between The Stand and the coronavirus outbreak, though. The author has also poked a bit of fun at the hysteria surrounding the outbreak. The outbreak has seen certain supplies, such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper, fly off of store shelves, creating a hilarious and slightly twisted joke about the situation starring none other than one of King's most classic characters: Pennywise the Clown. The author posted a meme of Pennywise from It hiding out in the sewer offering poor Georgie Denbrough not the promise of returning the child's paper boat but instead, hand sanitizer.
"I got hand sanitizer down here..." the devious, monstrous clown is reimagined to say.
What do you think about King's assertion that the coronavirus outbreak and The Stand's superflu are nothing alike? Let us know in the comments below.