The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the recent outbreak of a novel coronavirus to be a global health emergency, and many experts are fearing the potential of a worldwide pandemic on the horizon.
Despite claims of transparency, the Chinese government has kept a tight lid on any type of information coming from residents of Wuhan and other lockdown zones on social media. This atmosphere of intense media control has created plenty of speculation about what is actually taking place inside the country, behind the great firewall of China. Wild conspiracy theories have also spread like wildfire as well, some of them somewhat plausible and others entirely ridiculous.
Many times when some type of historical news event happens, someone is quick to point out that there is a Simpsons episode somewhere that predicted the occurrence. In some cases, these so-called predictions are spot on, while others are a bit of a stretch. In 1997, for example, the Simpsons predicted the Ebola scare and then in 2000 the show predicted that Donald Trump would become president of the United States.
According to The Daily Mail, in the case of the recent outbreak, fans of the Simpsons have suggested that an episode from 27 years ago depicted a similar scenario. However, the only thing that this most recent episode has in common with the current situation is the fact that there is an illness involved, and that illness originated outside of America. In a 1993 episode of the show called “Osaka Flu,” the town of Springfield is struck by an outbreak that was spread through juicers that were sent from Osaka, Japan. Obviously, despite the preconceived notions of many western viewers, Osaka, Japan, is a long way from Wuhan in China.
Furthermore, the illness we are dealing with is not a strain of influenza, but a strain of the coronavirus. In the panic surrounding the recent outbreak, many people of Asain descent said that they have experienced discrimination. In fact, discrimination has even been reported within Asian communities, with many people in Japan becoming distrusting of the Chinese. A campaign against discrimination has been launched in both Europe and the United States in response to the growing panic, with many Asian people fearing that they will lose basic civil liberties because of the color of their skin.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in China rose to nearly 12,000 this week, which officially surpasses the number seen in the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS. The number of people to officially lose their lives in the outbreak has now risen to 259, with many experts around the world suggesting that the real numbers are actually far higher than those being reported by the Chinese government.
A recent study reported from Hong Kong estimates that there could be at least 40,000 cases that have not yet been officially counted. Reports on the ground have indicated that there were simply not enough testing kits to keep up with the demand of the infected patients, and many were sent home to fend for themselves without being officially counted.
1993 Simpsons episode about asian flu.
Posted by Al Majir Sajiran on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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