Why would a TV show from 1992 make mention of Coronavirus if it's new in 2020?

I'm sitting here watching an episode of Law and Order from 1992, Season 3, episode 4, The Corporate Veil.  I never really watched the show back then, and I'm unfamiliar with the characters.

However, one of the men in a suit, was talking to another man, and he clearly said the word, Coronavirus.  How in the world does that even get used in a TV show from 1992?  I thought coronavirus was new??

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    As others have said, coronavirus refers to a CATEGORY of viruses.  They're named because the little spikey receptors they have to bind to cells vaguely resembles the jewel encrusted portions of crowns.  Corona being a word for crown.  Both SARS and MERS are coronaviruses.

    The actual TECHNICAL designation for the virus going around right now is SARS-CoV-2.  The disease it causes is called Covid-19 for 'Corona virus disease' and the 19 being the year it was catalogued (2019).  We have often referred to the virus as the 'novel coronavirus' meaning that it's the NEW ONE.  But saying 'novel' in front of it all the time, or using the technical name, are both clunky.  So we often are lazy and say 'coronavirus' or even just 'corona'.  We can do this because everyone knows WHICH coronavirus we're talking about.

    You seem to think, based on your comments to other answerers, that the media has been deceptive about this.  Indeed, I have about a billion complaints about how the media has behaved during this epidemic.  But one thing I will absolutely defend them on is that everything I just said has been WIDELY reported.  If you missed it, it's because you weren't paying attention.  It's been said in hundreds of articles that I've read.  So much so that I skim past any paragraph that looks like it's going to explain this YET AGAIN because it's so commonly cited.

    Now, with respect to your show referencing it, that is surprising because the current novel coronavirus is the one that POPULARIZED the term.  The term definitely existed back then.  But it wasn't well known until 2019.

  • 1 month ago

    "Coronavirus" is a class or family of viruses.  Others in the family include SARS and Ebola.  The current virus is COVID-19, because it is the 19th virus in the "covid" group of coronaviruses to be identified. 

    Members of the coronavirus family have been around for decades.  The specific virus COD-19 only appeared in the latter half of last year.

    Think of it like this.  Electric cars have been around since the late 1800's.  But the Tesla has only appeared in 2003.  People can refer to "electric cars" before that date.  But they would not be talking about Telsas.  People refered to "cononavirus" back in the 90's, but they were not referring to COVID-19.

  • 1 month ago

    there are many types of corona virus and they have been around forever.

    we just happen to have encountered a new one or an old one that skipped species.

    err they were clear they called it covid 19.

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