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WI: COVID-19 ISOTed 80yrs into the past?

SinghSong

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So, in this scenario, each and every specimen of the COVID-19 virus (of all strains and variants, including those within the bodies of anyone currently infected with it) gets expelled from OTL's present day, and ISOTed precisely 80yrs back in time, with all of these viruses popping out in perfect sync at their current precise locations on the 22nd July 1941. What would happen next, ITTL- which nations would be the worst affected, and how much could you envision a global COVID-19 pandemic, eighty (or rather, eighty-one going on eighty-two) years early, altering the course of WW2 and history in general? And on the other side of the coin, how would people in the original timeline react to COVID-19 having suddenly and inexplicably vanished from existence without trace?
 
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Ricardolindo

Well-known member
Location
Portugal
So, in this scenario, each and every specimen of the COVID-19 virus (of all strains and variants, including those within the bodies of anyone currently infected with it) gets expelled from OTL's present day, and ISOTed precisely 80yrs back in time, with all of these viruses popping out in perfect sync at their current precise locations on the 22nd July 1941. What would happen next, ITTL- which nations would be the worst affected, and how much could you envision a global COVID-19 pandemic, eighty (or rather, eighty-one going on eighty-two) years early, altering the course of WW2 and history in general? And on the other side of the coin, how would people in the original timeline react to COVID-19 having suddenly and inexplicably vanished from existence without trace?
It probably barely would be noticed.
 

SinghSong

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It probably barely would be noticed.
Even in places like Peru (where around 0.5-0.6% of the population's been killed by COVID even with some of the strictest restrictions on earth, with the endemic Lambda variant's fatality rate believed to be roughly three times higher than other variants; and where they don't have any wars in the background to distract them from it)- and without effective treatments? And what about in the original TL- wouldn't its disappearance be noticed, a lot?
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
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Even in places like Peru (where around 0.5-0.6% of the population's been killed by COVID even with some of the strictest restrictions on earth, with the endemic Lambda variant's fatality rate believed to be roughly three times higher than other variants; and where they don't have any wars in the background to distract them from it)- and without effective treatments? And what about in the original TL- wouldn't its disappearance be noticed, a lot?
Oh it'll be noticed in that respect, but one of the big things about now compared to the 40s is that people are just generally a lot more mobile- the disease has a much easier time spreading about the place.

It's also a case of whether governments will actually care.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
Oh it'll be noticed in that respect, but one of the big things about now compared to the 40s is that people are just generally a lot more mobile- the disease has a much easier time spreading about the place.

It's also a case of whether governments will actually care.
ITTL the spread's already happened though (unless we backdate the ISOT to 2019 or early-mid 2020 or whatever). You're right that generally future spread would be slower as would the rise of new variants. I suppose it is possible that in the world of the 40s, with infectious diseases generally much more common (if less common than c. 1885 or whenever) COVID would be much more medical background noise with e.g. the kind of people who't get killed by COVID being usually comorbid with TB or whatever.

*The other morbid thought is that responses to covid would be more effective in 1940 since 1) absent vaccines it seems like the treatment options are basically the same as what we have, the prospect of wartime would be a useful framework/position to impose serious restrictions, and 3) people were at the time just generally more used to the measures necessary to curb spread of contagious disease.
 
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