Stephen King’s novel, The Stand (1978), is a post-apocalyptic horror fantasy story about the accidental release of the influenza (called “Project Blue”); causing an apocalyptic pandemic that kills off 99% of the population. The 1994 miniseries was also written by Stephen King and directed by Mick Garris. In the story, a U.S. Army soldier travels across the country to his family home; not realizing that he’s spreading the virus along the way.
Because of the outbreak of the current virus, COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus), many fans have flocked to the indication that the current virus is mirroring the influenza pandemic in the novel. Fans are theorizing with such fear; concluding that The Stand predicted the Coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention are certainly telling everyone to stay alert BUT not to panic. In the midst of such panic however, Stephen King has responded on Twitter about the comparison of “Project Blue” and COVID-19.
Even though the Coronavirus does indeed have a high fatality rate, the majority of people who have been infected only experience mild symptoms and ultimately do recover. Stephen King’s advice mirrors the CDC’s advice: stay alert AND DO NOT PANIC. And get the idea out of your head about The Stand predicting the new virus. A novel written over 40 years ago has nothing to do with the current outbreak. It might be believable to some, but not to others. It would be best to stay calm.