Did ‘The Simpsons’ really predict the coronavirus outbreak?

First Donald Trump’s presidency, then the Disney-Fox merger and now the coronavirus outbreak?

It appears the prophetic writers of “The Simpsons” have done it again, predicting yet another major world event — or have they?

A series of stills from old episodes of the long-running animated comedy that have been circulating online this week seem to suggest “The Simpsons” somehow knew about the spread of the respiratory illness more than a decade in advance.

The viral collection of images, believed to be taken from a 1993 episode, shows multiple characters spreading and catching an ominous cloud of germs. In one snapshot, a newscaster delivers a report on a “coronavirus,” as indicated by a title slide over his shoulder. Pieced together, the evidence appears to cement the “Simpsons’ ” status as the oracle of TV.

 

Simpsons

 

This time, however, the receipts are too prescient to be true. According to Deadline, the stills in question hail from an episode in which packagers working in Japan accidentally ship the “Osaka Flu” to Springfield. The 2020 coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China.

“Please don’t tell the supervisor I have the flu,” one of the workers tells his colleague in the episode before coughing into a box addressed to Homer Simpson.

Though three of the images actually do come from the same 1993 episode, the one of the newscaster is from a different episode entirely. And the graphic over his shoulder says “Apocalypse Meow,” not “corona virus.”

In 2016, an episode from Season 11 that refers to Trump as “President Trump” gained traction for obvious reasons after the election. Later, fans pointed to an episode from Season 10 that listed 20th Century Fox as a “division of Walt Disney Co.” years before Disney famously purchased Fox in real life.

“The Simpsons” is also not the only entity to have allegedly predicted the coronavirus outbreak. Another collage of photos making the internet rounds attributes the prophecy to suspense author Dean Koontz, citing an excerpt from his 1981 novel, “The Eyes of Darkness,” which talks about a “new biological weapon” called “Wuhan-400.”

An image of another page reads, “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.” In actuality, this excerpt is taken from a different book: Sylvia Browne’s “End of Days.”

As for “Wuhan-400,” its similarities to the 2020 coronavirus end with the city of origin. Koontz describes the biological weapon as an extremely infectious, brain-eating disease with a 100% “kill-rate.” The coronavirus is a respiratory illness with a fatality rate between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and 0.7% outside of Wuhan.

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