Author Stephen King took another swing at the coronavirus outbreak on Twitter in an attempt to assure everyone the virus will not lead to a post-apocalyptic world similar to his book The Stand. Response to the tweet was mixed, with some realizing he was only joking while others had more serious responses. King previously joked about the outbreak with a meme referencing It.
"No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND," King wrote. "It's not anywhere near as serious. It's eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions."
King's Twitter followers pounced on the tweet with a variety of responses.
"Just do what normal citizens always do, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze and always carry a Stephen King book to read," one fan tweeted.
"It's not the virus that's similar, it's the battle of good vs evil," another wrote. "I've been calling this s—show THE STAND for three years. Coronavirus kinda just sealed the deal a little. We know it's not as serious."
"It isn't the virus Stephen - it is the response by those in positions of authority," another wrote. "Covering up the seriousness of the situation and hiding the numbers is what brings to mind the beginning of The Stand."
"How so? The virus has the capacity to kill those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly," one person not happy with King's joke wrote. "So to diminish the significance of this outbreak is a little bit strange. On top of that we are weeks (if not months) away from developing an effective vaccination, or treatment."
King previously joked about the coronavirus on Friday, when he shared a meme using the iconic opening scene from the It TV miniseries, with Tim Curry's evil clown Pennywise luring children into his lair. In the meme, Pennywise is using hand sanitizer to lure children.
In The Stand, King gave readers a look at a world following a pandemic that killed over 99 percent of the world's population. The book was adapted into a four-episode miniseries for ABC in 1994 and inspired a Marvel Comics series. A new miniseries is in development for CBS All Access and stars James Marsden, Amber Heard, Greg Kinnear, Alexander Skarsgard and Whoopi Goldberg.
There are more than 100,000 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases around the world, including over 500 in the U.S. There are also 21 confirmed deaths from the disease in the U.S., including 18 in Washington state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the best way to prevent illness is to avoid contact with those already infected, avoid touching your face, stay home when sick and make sure you wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask if you are well, but they should be worn by those showing symptoms or treating patients.
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