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Scene in 2018 K-Drama ‘Secret Terrius’ sparks conspiracy theory about COVID-19

What if the new coronavirus is not just a simple freak accident turned pandemic but was actually designed as a biological weapon?

This is a conspiracy theory circulating around social media recently after a certain Korean drama series tackled a similar topic one year before the COVID-19 was first detected.

The 2018 k-drama My Secret Terrius tells the story of a woman who lost her husband and seeks the help of her neighbor, an NIS agent, to discover the truth behind her husband’s involvement in a major conspiracy.

In episode 10 of its first season (particularly 53 minutes in), a doctor is explaining the prognosis of a certain patient.

Doctor (speaking in Korean): We must do more research, but it looks like a mutant coronavirus.

Woman: Corona? Then MERS?

Doctor: MERS, SARS, the common flu. They all fall in the same family with the same gene information. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. During the 2015 MERS epidemic, the mortality rate was over 20 percent.

Woman: But that’s not serious enough to be used as a weapon. Am I wrong?

Doctor: Like I said, this is a mutant virus. Someone tweaked it to increase the mortality rate to almost 90 percent. What’s more serious is that the coronavirus has an incubation period of two to fourteen days. This virus was manipulated to attack the lungs directly within just five minutes of being exposed.

Sounds eerily familiar right? The scene eventually moves to a telephone conversation with the same woman and the NIS agent:

NIS agent: A man-made virus? Mortality rate?

Woman: 90 percent.

NIS agent: They’re planning a biochemical terrorist attack.

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day right now because of this shocking coincidence.

This is sort of reminiscent of the time, some time in February, when a photo off of author Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel “The Eyes of Darkness” were making the rounds online about its “accurate prediction” of the 2019 coronavirus (this was already debunked, though).

But is there a truth to this?

Well, scientists, using their very scientific ways, have already debunked this myth. In a paper released last March 17 by the Scripps Research Institute, the researchers “found no evidence that the [COVID-19] virus was made in a laboratory or otherwise engineered. “

“By comparing the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains, we can firmly determine that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) originated through natural processes,” said Kristian Andersen, PhD, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research and corresponding author on the paper.

The scientists found that the two features of the virus—the ability of its spike protein to effectively bind human cells, which is a result of natural selection; and its overall molecular structure which resembles greatly to related viruses found in bats and pangolins—rule out laboratory manipulation as a potential origin.

Given all the evidence, there’s no need to panic about some conspiracy concerning biological warfare. That’s one less issue to be anxious about. Just stay indoors, keep positive, and stay negative (from the virus).

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