March 11, 2020, Usti Nad Labem, Czech Republic: A fireman in protective clothing stands in front of a stop sign during a check of travellers at a petrol station on the D8 Dresden-Prague motorway. To prevent the corona virus from spreading, the Czech Republic has started random checks of travellers at the borders to Germany and Austria. (Robert Michael/DPA via ZUMA Press/TNS)

Ah, the infamous coronavirus. No one knows how serious or not it actually is. There are claims that the media hypes it up, or that China isn’t releasing all the information they have. Some people are terrified that it is coming for them in the dark of night, and others are just living there lives as normal. There really isn’t a definite answer of what is happening or what will come right now. The only thing that is known is that the death rate is slightly higher than the flu. Is this because it isn’t trying to be controlled? Or because there isn’t a fix for it yet? It feels like we are all pretty much in the dark. As of now, Purdue, IU, and IUPUI are switching to online classes. ISU has done the same, and people are unsure of what lies ahead. Since no one really has a grasp on what is happening, here are some farfetched, or maybe not so farfetched, ideas about the coronavirus.

One of the more ethereal theories is that of the plague. According to Chinese zodiac, 2020 is the year of the rat. Some people relate this back to the Black Death in Europe. The Black Death was a bubonic plague that killed over 20 million in Europe and some of Asia. This plague was transmitted through rats; thus connecting the theory of the year of the rat. Obviously, this theory is a reach to say the least, but it is an odd coincidence.

Another theory is that the disease did not actually originate in China, it came from the U.S. A few of China’s politicians have made statements that the disease is in china, but have asked if it necessarily came from, or was made there. These are just statements from people with no factual backing, but there is also no backing saying this isn’t true. As well, people seem to think this is true because of prior incidents involving diseases. Some believe that the United States developed AIDS as a weapon and tested it on minority groups. Once they had the epidemic under control, Ebola became the new disease outbreak. Again, people believed this was created in America made to be a weapon.

There is no known reason for the virus right now or a cure for it. Grocery stores are running out of flu and preventative tools. Schools are being closed down. I fear that the mass hysteria will be more prominent than the virus itself and that will be the downfall. However, I do think more preventative measures could be taken.  Sydney Reynolds from Quinnipiac University came back from her trip to Rome amidst the flood of coronavirus and said that when she returned home to JFK airport, she was not screened. Because she was not screened, if she had the disease, she could have spread it to everyone on the flight, the people she came in contact with at the airport, and on the way home. As of right now, Italy is about ten days ahead of us as far as the progression of the virus and I don’t think people are taking it seriously. So far, I’ve seen no one stocking up groceries or trying not to touch door handles. It’s just a really complicated situation as to how serious the situation should be taken. In the end, if it does turn out to be a bigger deal than it actually is, at least America will be more hygienic.