The Coronavirus and The Raffle Novel: Part 1

Greetings Rafflers. I write with scary “real life” news and parallels to The Raffle Novel. And this time it’s about something I don’t think we really have any control over: the Coronavirus.

Here’s what we know about the Coronavirus as of this posting (summarizing an NPR story last updated on January 26)

1. It appears to have originated in China.

2. There are more than 2,000 confirmed cases worldwide and 56 reported deaths as of Jan. 26.

3. The name for the virus comes from the crownlike spikes it has on its surface — “corona” is Latin for “crown.”

4. This strain of the virus is called “2019-nCoV”.

5. Coronaviruses originate in animals and are usually not transmissible to humans. But when a mutation occurs, a coronavirus can pass from animals to humans and then from human to human.

6. Most of the first cases in December 2019 were traced to an animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan and are believed to have come from contact with live animals that were infected.

7. Wuhan is a transportation hub and is home to more than 11 million people. It has been quarantined by the Chinese government.

8. Three U.S. cases have been reported to date. The first was reported on Jan. 21, in a Seattle-area man who traveled to China and began experiencing symptoms a few days after returning home to Washington state on Jan. 15. The second case, a woman in Chicago and the third case, a patient in Orange County, California.

And here are some parallels to The Raffle Novel:

1. The Raffle Novel, the “virus” is referred to as M-V-2016. Note that the 2016 is because that was unleashed in Los Angeles in 2061 and the Coronavirus has “2019” because that was when the first case was noted.

2. Wuhan is a major transportation hub, just like Los Angeles, and is home to 11 million people, and the quarantined area is growing. The area that was quarantined in The Raffle Novel consisted of all of Los Angeles County (home to nearly 11 million people, as well as Orange County and parts of Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

3. The Coronavirus has its origins overseas as did M-V-2016.

4. Coronavirus has caused fear of “the other,” in this case fear of the Chinese or those that have visited China recently. M-V-2016 also caused fear of “the other” but on a more massive scale: anyone that wasn’t like you genetically.

5. In The Raffle Novel, the New United States uses drones to patrol and enforce quarantines and other directives. And it appears China is using drones to enforce quarantines of infected areas.

Hopefully Coronavirus will be contained soon and will stop spreading. Otherwise, we may be living in more fear and even more people will be cutoff from the rest of the world, which is one way to make people in the world turn against each other and mimic the world of The Raffle Novel.