If you are following developments regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, you may have encountered someone mentioning the thriller novel “Eyes of Darkness,” the American author Dean Kuntz, published in 1981 and tells the story of a mother who seeks to know if her son had already died a year ago a viral epidemic during a camping trip, Or is he still alive?
The social media is referring to the novel that may carry a similar prediction to the new virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and a picture from an Amazon book review shows the fact that the writer called “Wuhan-400” on the virus in his fictional novel.
However, Kontz did not anticipate the outbreak of a new coronavirus as we will see with this report, and contrary to the similarity of the assumed name, this imaginary biological weapon shares little with the virus that caused the outbreak of the disease this year.
In “Eyes of Darkness,” Wuhan 400 is a biological man-made weapon, while the Corona virus was not. Rather, it spread from the Huanan seafood market in the same city, as it mutated through humans and transmitted to them through animal contact with humans in the market, and with Some activists, however, question this account by claiming that the virus may have been leaked from the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, which has not yet been proven.
In the novel, the “Wuhan-400” virus has a death rate of 100%, meaning that everyone who is infected with the virus dies, while researchers are still studying the Corona virus, which has a mortality rate of about 2% of the infected population, according to the Snoops fact-finding platform.
The fictional “Wuhan-400” in the novel has a very rapid incubation period of only four hours, compared to a two-to-14-day incubation period for the Corona virus, and the fictional virus in the novel is mentioned (Wuhan-400) at least five times.
However, there is another, more important factor that makes the idea of predicting the novel with the new virus out of reality, although the book page presented above is real, but earlier versions of this novel used a different name for the imaginary biological weapon.
To check this, by searching for the 1981 edition of the same book available through Google Books, you can’t find any mention of the “Wuhan-400” name in the old version. In this edition, this biological weapon was named “Gorki-400” after the name of the Russian city in which it was made, and the novel contained the name Gorki several times instead of the Chinese Wuhan.
Thus, instead of the “Wuhan-400” virus developed by the Chinese government according to the events of the last version of the novel, “Gorky-400” was a biological weapon manufactured by Russian scientists in the laboratories according to the version of the old novel, before its name changed in the next editions of the novel for reasons that could Interpret it in a political way.
In a report for the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong newspaper reported an explanation for the controversial and mysterious name change.
In her report, journalist Kate Whitehead said that the change in name from “Gorky” to “Wuhan” had occurred in the 1989 version of the novel, which the writer released in his real name after using another pseudonym.
The newspaper draws attention to the fact that in 1989 itself witnessed the end of the Cold War, the demise of the Soviet Union and the decline of communism, at which time relations between the United States – in which the writer lived – improved and the Soviet Union, which later turned into the Russian Republic, began to improve. The Russian leadership became concerned with openness and improving relations, and the American author found in this context that blaming Russia is not in line with global political developments and there is a need for another “new villain”.
The report continues by saying that there were not many countries with biological weapons facilities and laboratories, and at the same time not friendly to the United States, and thus the writer found in China a suitable alternative option in line with the rise of US concerns about the Chinese threat from East Asia.
Meanwhile, the events of the student demonstrations that broke out in 1989, the bloody suppression of Tiananmen Square, were the most recent, and rumors abounded of leaks and cover-ups in biological weapons facilities.
Albert Wan – who runs a bookstore in San Po Kong, Hong Kong, told the newspaper that Wuhan has historically been the site of many scientific research facilities, including those dealing with microbiology and virology. “Smart writers, like Kontz, knew all of this and used this piece of factual information to craft a compelling and unobtrusive story alike. Hence the idea of Wuhan 400.”
Kuntz is best known for his suspicious and mysterious novels, sometimes mixing horror, fantasy, and science fiction, and some of his works have been ranked on the New York Times bestseller list with millions of readers around the world.