The Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic vs. Stephen King’s The Stand

Mother Nature just doesn’t work that way, Fran. Your somebody in authority got a bunch of bacteriologists, virologists, and epidemiologists together in some government installation to see how many funny bugs they could dream up. Bacteria. Viruses. Germ plasm, for all I know. And one day some well-paid toady said, ‘Look what I made. It kills almost everybody. Isn’t it great?’ And they gave him a medal, and a pay-raise, and a time-sharing condo, and then somebody spilled it. —from The Stand

     Recently, partly because I wanted to read something easy and partly because I have seen statements to the effect that it was a prescient augury of the current Wuhan coronavirus pandemic (alias Wuhan flu, kung flu, Winnie the flu, the CCP virus, Chinese lung herpes, kung pao pulmonary syphilis, plandemic, scamdemic, the Rona, etc. etc.), I read Stephen King’s immense novel The Stand. I read the “complete and uncut” edition, which is even more immense than the original. It is the only Stephen King novel I have ever read, and I was impressed by his writing style; though I doubt that the novel is any sort of prophecy or portent of today’s Wuhan coronavirus. Even so, there are some interesting comparisons and contrasts between the two stories, the fictional one by King and the supposedly nonfictional one that we see unfolding before us. And so, this little article is a comparison and contrast of a thoroughly devastating pandemic and…whatever we’ve got now.

The Stand: Occurs in 1990 in the complete and uncut revised edition.

“Reality”: Began in 2019, and will no doubt continue well into 2021 at the least.

The Stand: The virus accidentally escapes from a secret bioweapons laboratory run by the US military in a desert area of California.

“Reality”: Apparently escaped accidentally from a secret project run by the Chinese Communist Party in a not quite so secret laboratory in the big city of Wuhan, China. NEVERTHELESS, the US government was allegedly supervising this same secret project during the Obama administration, with one of their top supervisors being none other than the notorious Dr. Anthony “people must do as they’re told” Fauci. Thus these experiments, one of which it seems went terribly awry, may have been in part an attempt by the US government to outsource some of its more despicable actions onto foreign soil, rather like the case of Guantanamo Bay.

The Stand: The experimental virus which escapes from the secret lab is apparently a genetically engineered bioweapon, ready for use, and based on an ordinary cold or flu virus, and spreads pretty much in the same way.

“Reality”: The experimental virus which escaped from the semi-secret lab is evidently genetically engineered, though not necessarily as a bioweapon and evidently, very fortunately, still in an experimental, preliminary form. It also is a variant of a common coronavirus which can cause the common cold or some kinds of influenza, though allegedly it was originally a virus which specialized in infecting bats, and which (allegedly) had its outer surface modified to make it more contagious to humans. It also spreads like a common cold or flu, and has rather similar symptoms to a bad flu bug.

The Stand: Shortly after the virus escapes, the US government goes into extreme damage control and tries mightily and ruthlessly to cover up the truth about the virus, even to the point of quarantining towns with military force and assassinating journalists who try to report on it. These efforts, however, fail miserably.

“Reality”: Shortly after the virus escaped, the Chinese government (=CCP) went into rather extreme damage control and tried mightily and ruthlessly to cover up the truth about the virus, even to the point of lying publicly about wet markets, silencing doctors trying to warn the populace, and catching people and locking them in their homes against their will. They even pressured the World Health Organization to lie about the virus also. Nevertheless, these efforts also failed.

The Stand: The virus is extremely contagious, so that almost everyone in the world is exposed to it in a matter of a few weeks.

“Reality”: The virus is pretty damn contagious, though not nearly so bad as the book version. After approximately a year, still a relatively small percentage of humans are known to have contracted the disease.

The Stand: The illness caused by the virus has a survival rate of a tiny fraction of 1%, with all survivors (at first anyhow) being asymptomatic and thereby immune.

“Reality”: The illness caused by the virus has much less than a 1% mortality rate, with possibly most of the people contracting it being asymptomatic.

The Stand: Twelve days after the virus leaks out of the laboratory civilization is already collapsing, with entire cities dying or dead.

“Reality”: Twelve days after the virus (allegedly) leaks out of the laboratory civilization is the same as before, with the Chinese government still denying everything, and the world is clueless.

The Stand: No lockdown at all after the initial attempts at a coverup, no masks, no social distancing, and even the President of the United States is terminally ill with the “superflu” and coughing on people within twelve days of the lab disaster. This may be in part due to the speed and virulence of the pandemic’s spread, and may also be due in part to an oversight on the part of the author of the story.

“Reality”: Severe lockdown regardless of the minuscule death rate, unconstitutional laws requiring businesses to shut down, masks to be worn in public (and sometimes even at home), and “social distancing.” People lose their jobs and live under house arrest “for their own good.”

The Stand: After it becomes clear that there is a major disaster afoot, the US government sends agents abroad to release the virus in other countries (especially Russia and China) to cloud the waters and make the origin of the virus a matter of mere conjecture.

“Reality”: After containment of the virus within China became pretty much a lost cause, the Chinese Communist Party evidently allowed unscanned and potentially infected people to travel to other countries, including the USA (before President Trump banned flights from China), while still attempting to quarantine the area of Wuhan. It would seem that they spread the virus to other countries deliberately in order to ensure that not only their own economy would take a beating—Communism in practice: share everything.

The Stand: The US government establishment denies the disaster until it becomes blatantly undeniable, leading to justified mass hysteria, fear, and chaos as people begin to die like flies.

“Reality”: The globalist establishment manufactures mass hysteria, playing upon the fears of a decadent, timid, and sheeplike populace (though in the area of Wuhan there may have been a slightly closer resemblance to the scenario of the novel). The deliberate fear-mongering about the virus in America is paused, however, when other forms of mass hysteria (like rioting) become temporarily expedient.

The Stand: The promise of a nonexistent vaccine is employed as a means of decreasing nationwide panic.

“Reality”: The promise of a nonexistent vaccine is used by the President as a means of decreasing nationwide panic; though emphasis on the idea that a reliable vaccine has not yet been developed is employed by the globalist establishment as a means of justifying nationwide panic and government intervention in people’s lives in the present, for political purposes. Eventually a vaccine is (allegedly) developed, however.

The Stand: The pandemic lasts for a few weeks, after which everyone who can catch it is dead.

“Reality”: The pandemic may last indefinitely.

The Stand: The collapse of civilization causes extreme polarization of the surviving population into two camps: essentially, good and evil. The leader of the good people is an old black woman who is a registered Republican, and the leader of the bad people is a demoniac anti-police Marxist radical, among other radical things (it’s the radical extremism that appeals to him, not any particular ideology).

“Reality”: The decline of societal values even before the pandemic facilitates polarization of the populace into two camps: right-wing nationalists and left-wing globalists, with the viral pandemic exploited as a political tool by the globalist faction. 

The Stand: In the extreme polarization of the population, the bad guys know that they’re the bad guys, but most of them don’t really care all that much, and some of them really LIKE being the bad guys. One reason for this is that they consider the bad side to be more powerful and thus more likely to win in an existential struggle. And of course the demonic entity who leads them certainly knows he is bad and delights in it.

“Reality”: In the extreme polarization of the population, both sides consider themselves to be the good guys. Nevertheless, the leftist/globalist side is (allegedly) more ruthlessly dishonest, and many of its followers suffer from a fair amount of cognitive dissonance, with many if not all of the leaders knowing full well the truth behind the lies being told to the sheeplike masses.

The Stand: Technicians are more on the side of the bad guys because they prefer things orderly and structured, and like having well defined goals and procedures.

“Reality”: Big tech is on the side of the globalists and the left, though with apparently many (possibly a majority) of engineer types being staunch right-wingers.

The Stand: The people of the western, demonic faction are described as being at least slightly insane; with regard to the western Demon-King and his intended bride: “It’s like he’s rubbing away the part of her brain that knows right from wrong. Little by little he’s rubbing that part away. And when it’s gone she’ll be as crazy as everyone else in the West.”

“Reality”: The people of the leftist, establishment faction are indoctrinated into a kind of obedient mass hysteria or consensus trance, in which obvious truths (leftists being the ones who riot and loot and burn, for example, and leftist leaders being the ones trying to subvert democracy, freedom, justice, and the rule of law) are dutifully ignored. The meanings of right and wrong are changed to fit the left’s political narratives, as “truth” is declared to be nothing more than a cultural construct anyway.

The Stand: The sinister faction has obvious fascistic tendencies, with strictly enforced law and order decreed by an absolute autocratic overlord. The good guys live more communally, but uphold the principles of the US Constitution.

“Reality”: Leftists and globalists have discernible fascistic tendencies (such as opposition to personal liberty, and the use of violence and fraud to silence political adversaries), but with a plutocratic ruling elite rather than a charismatic autocrat-overlord; meanwhile, they naively believe themselves to be anti-fascist. The right uphold the principles of the US Constitution, while the left pretend to do likewise and dishonestly insist that it is conservative Americans who hate the Constitution and American values.

The Stand: The sinister faction led by the demonic overlord continues to perpetrate very bad and powerful acts of chaos-mongering against their enemies, and thereby appear more formidable and even likely to win any conflict…but they just cannot manage to defeat the good guys. This is because the leader’s and followers’ own character defects and moral inferiority burden them with a fatal flaw, inevitable feet of clay.

“Reality”: We will have to wait and see on this one.

The Stand: A terrible accident crashes human civilization by killing off almost the entire earth’s population of humans (and also most dogs and horses).

“Reality”: The global economy might be wrecked deliberately in order to facilitate the implementation of socialism and the New World Order. The economy may crash not by the massive death toll of any disease but by the globalist establishment urging governments to shut down and tank their economies to “save” people from a virus with a mortality rate at a small fraction of 1%.

The Stand: The actual disease caused by the escaped virus is not the main point of the story. It is simply a plot device which set up the structure of the ensuing narrative, resulting in the great apocalyptic struggle between good and evil.

“Reality”: The actual disease caused by the (allegedly) escaped virus is not the main point of the story either. It is just a convenient political device for the restructuring of society by an extraordinarily corrupt and ruthless globalist establishment, resulting in a struggle between freedom-respecting nationalists and authoritarian globalists.

The Stand: A work of fiction.

“Reality”: Also a work of fiction!…but of a different sort; not a novel printed on pages but a propaganda narrative passed off as truth, presumably for the sake of globalists regaining and consolidating power from the resultant widespread fear and chaos, and for the sake of them increasing their control over the minds and everyday lives of America’s, and the whole earth’s, inhabitants. Or, on the other hand, maybe the Powers That Be know much more about the genetically engineered virus than they admit, and ten years from now the people who contracted it will start melting, or turning into zombies, or something. But for now I’m going with the Fictional Narrative hypothesis.


  1. I've read a lot of books from King. But for me the most of his books were very boring and not creepy at all. He just can not write good endings. "The Outsider", one of his newer books, was okay. Soon there will be a series about that story with Jason Bateman.

    1. Yeah, the ending of The Stand was kind of weak too, and his bad guys often fail very conveniently like the bad guys in Dickens novels, just suddenly meeting with disaster and dropping dead right at a very convenient (for the good guys) moment. But his English style is good and clear, and not too sparse or ornate. I doubt that I'll be reading any more of his novels soon though. I still prefer Dostoevsky.


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