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PRESCIENT: How Stephen King TV Series Eerily Mirrors COVID-19 Crisis


In 2003, an American TV science fiction drama series on USA Network called The Dead Zone aired an episode entitled Plague” which features a plot line that’s not only eerily similar to the present day COVID-19 crisis – it’s near identical. The two stories share an incredible number of details, from the name of the virus, its unique attributes, its alleged origins, and even the medication being used to treat it.

The series is set in the northeastern United States and is adapted from the famous 1979 Stephen King novel of the same title. It stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, a man who has developed special psychic abilities following a near death experience. In this episode, Smith has a vision of an outbreak of a deadly virus in the town.

The similarities between this plot line to the present day SARS-CoV2 pandemic are nothing short of incredible, and features the following:

  • A highly infectious novel Coronavirus, spread through airborne transmission.
  • The Coronavirus reproduces in the nasal and throat area, and symptoms including high fever and severe respiratory distress like SARS.
  • Authorities then deploy mass testing with nasal swabs, followed by mass contact tracing and quarantine for anyone who has come in contract with a symptomatic person.
  • The story also introduces the term “Lockdown” as the name of the emergency measure for quarantine.
  • ‘Patient zero’ is believed to be an American who arrived by international flight from China.

Only it doesn’t end there, as the miracle cure being deployed by medical teams is none other than Chloroquine – a medication primarily used to treat malaria, but which has recently been shown to be highly effective at treating COVID-19. 

The shows writers include Michael Piller (creator), Jeremy Bernstein (story), Jill E. Blotevogel (teleplay), and of course Stephen King (characters and novel adaptation).

Unquestionably, the amount of similarities between the script of this TV drama and the present day COVID-19 ‘pandemic’ is extraordinary, and will no doubt pique the interest of followers and researchers into the concept of predictive programming, an area of study which has become more formalized through a number of books found here, here and here, as well as other academic papers published in recent years. Regardless of whether believes in this phenomenon or not, it’s impossible to deny that the sheer number of commonalities between these two stories is nothing short of remarkable.

Watch this edited highlight reel of The Dead Zone’s episode “Plague” released in 2003:

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