File: Combating Coronavirus in China. Credit, New York Times
By Jethro Ibileke
The deadly Coronavirus, like the Spanish Influenza, is currently spreading like a wildfire around the world and is taking tolls on the lives of people on its path. This deadly disease might sound strange and new to many, including even health care providers and experts, but, actually, Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious group, had sounded a warning of its emergence 15 years ago, in one of its magazines, Awake!
Writing on the subject “The Next Global Epidemic, WHEN?” December 22, 2005, edition of Awake! did not only raise the alarm that a pandemic virus might emerge in China or a nearby country, but it also warned that it might emanate from an animal and could surface from antigens or virulence factors derived from animal influenza viruses.
–Read how Psychic Sylvia Browne, in her book, End of Days? also ‘predicts’ Coronavirus here
The Awake! edition
The magazine quoted the medical journal, Vaccine, of 2003, which warned: “It has been 35 years since the last influenza pandemic, and the longest interval between pandemics recorded with certainty in 39 years. The pandemic virus may emerge in China or a nearby country and could surface from antigens or virulence factors derived from animal influenza viruses.
“It will spread rapidly throughout the world. Several waves of infection will occur. Morbidity will be extensive in all age groups, and there will be widespread disruption of social and economic activity in all countries. Excess mortality will be evident in most, if not all age groups. It is unlikely that health care systems in even the most economically developed countries will be able to adequately cope with the demand for health care services.”
The relevant page of Awake! On the subject
Related stories: Read how a writer, Dean Koontz, also accurately predicted Coronavirus 40 years ago here
Read how, like Coronavirus, 1918 influenza originated from China, here
True to this prediction, the influenza pandemic began in China, from where it has spread to other parts of the world. And according to the warning, even with its huge economic base, China has not been able to cope adequately with the sensor health care services.
For instance, it was reliability gathered that price of common nose mask made in Nigeria has tripped in recent times, from N500 per pack to N1500, due to the hot demand for it from China.
Just how serious is an Influenza pandemic? The issue of Awake! warned of the seriousness of an outbreak of an Influenza-like Corona Virus, when it quoted John M. Barry, author of the book, The Great Influenza, who said: “A terrorist with a nuclear weapon is every national politician’s nightmare. A new influenza pandemic should be.”
Perhaps the whole world would not have been in this precarious situation it finds itself now, if governments, medical experts, health care providers and bodies like the World Health Organization, WHO had taken seriously the warning sounded by the Awake! magazine and took proactive steps to nip it in the board.
Awake!, a quarterly magazine published by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is the second most widely circulated magazine in the world, after its sister publication, The Watchtower, with a total circulation of 93,354,000 copies in 222 languages of each edition. It is renowned for its in-depth and accuracy in research on whichever subject it decides to delve into.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses might not be as popular and loved by many, as they have received a lot of backlash from individuals and other religious organizations due to their doctrines, but certainly, they deserve respect for their zeal in their worldwide preaching and Bible educational work.
Numbering over 8,683,117 in over 240 lands, these Jehovah’s Witnesses have always warned of the of pestilences and deadly plagues, as prophesized by Jesus Christ, using Luke 21:11 and Revelation 6:8 as references.