Offbeat

COVID 19 – ‘Wuhan-400’ : literary coincidence or prophetic writing about a similar virus decades ago?

(A passage from the book- The eyes of Darkness | Photo – Twitter)

Kohima, February 17 (NE): A 1981 thriller fiction – The Eyes of Darkness, written by bestselling suspense author Dean Koontz, in his story tells of a Chinese military lab that creates a virus as part of its biological weapons programme. The lab is located in Wuhan, which lends the virus its name, ‘Wuhan-400’. The author calls it ‘a Perfect weapon’. A chilling literary coincidence or a case of writer as unwitting prophet, a report stated.

In the fiction, a grieving mother, Christina Evans, sets out to discover whether her son Danny died on a camping trip or if (as suspicious messages suggest) he is still alive. She eventually tracks him down to a military facility where he is being held after being accidentally contaminated with man-made microorganisms created at the research centre in Wuhan.

The passage from the book reads: “It was around that time that a Chinese scientist named Li Chen moved to the United States while carrying a floppy disk of data from China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon of the past decade. They call it Wuhan-400 because it was developed in their RDNA laboratory just outside the city of Wuhan, and it was the 400th viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center. ”

Wuhan-400 in the fiction, affects people rather than animals and cannot survive outside the human body or in environments colder than 30 degrees Celsius. One big difference: Wuhan-400 has a 100 percent kill-rate, while the present Wuhan virus does not. People are unable to comprehend the similarities between the Wuhan-400 and Wuhan virus. Many debates are on, for the fiction thriller, whether it’s truely a literary coincidence or a prophetic writing?