In the last few weeks, I have heard that certain people have claimed to have predicted our worldwide pandemic as if this is further evidence of their alien contact. However, I don’t believe it. Let me explain.
In the 1990s there was a series of books that warned of pandemics. Ebola was one of those emerging diseases that could be dangerous. But Ebola, which was considered a “slate wiper,” meaning mortality rate was 80 or 90%, was not an airborne virus. It was spread through contact with bodily fluids and it could be halted by carefully treating the sick.
had a simpler flaw. It was not airborne and required intimate contact. It did,
however, hint at the problem in the world today and that was air travel. With
millions of people traveling to every country in the world everyday a virus
spread quickly before we were aware of the danger. This explains the worldwide nature of the AIDS epidemic.
In books, such as The Hot Zone published in the 1990s, there was a warning about the coming pandemics if we weren’t careful. There were other books and other warnings and those of us who were paying attention knew that at some point there would be another worldwide pandemic. All the science pointed to it, those books and articles pointed to it and even the movies made such predictions about it. Remember Outbreak? (1995). Or how about Contagion (2011), which deals with a deadly disease coming out of China?
I mention all this because back in 2005, I was working on a science fiction novel that I had originally titled Forever. It was the story of a woman, who through some twist in fate, found herself not aging as those around her did. I happened to look at one of the chapters just the other day and was struck by an inadvertent prediction I made. I wrote that she had been working at home because of flu-like pandemic that was shaking the world. Granted, I didn’t name it a covid virus, I just called it “flu-like,” but hey, how close do you have to come?
The point here is that I had based that little bit of “science fiction” on what I had read and heard about pandemics, and that there was a trend, out there in the world, where people were “tele-commuting” to work. Isolate people to prevent the spread of the disease and build on the idea that our interconnected environment allowed us to stay at home to do the job… didn’t really envision Skype and Zoom and other ways that we could “get together, face-to-face,” but I did address two of the problems we face today.
In other words, making a predication about a pandemic caused by a flu-like virus and people working from home isn’t a great insight, given what had been published in the 1990s and the push for telecommuting in the 2000s. I just wanted to note that sometimes science fiction isn’t exactly all fiction and that a claim of a prediction of a virus causing a pandemic isn’t all that impressive.