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Did Nostradamus Predict the COVID-19 Pandemic?

If only people recognized "predictions" before the calamitous events they supposedly anticipate.

Published March 20, 2020

A meme replicates a Nostradamus prophecy foretelling the 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic.

In the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic that broke out globally in the first part of 2020, some social media users shared what they claimed was a prediction of that pandemic back in 1551 by the 16th century astrologer (and alleged soothsayer) known as Nostradamus:

There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the east (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.

Michel de Nostradame was an astrologer who lived in France in the 1500s and is most famous today for the poetic quatrains he wrote for his book, "Les Prophéties," which many enthusiasts now claim foretold various significant historical events. Nostradamus wrote a lot of stuff so general (and obscure) that with the help of a little imagination (and some liberal interpretations from the original French), people have claimed he has "predicted" nearly every event of significance since the mid-16th century.

But this particular viral prediction was not expressed in quatrain form, nor could we find anything like it published in "Les Prophéties." We also found no mention of this supposed prophecy prior to the events of early 2020, which generally indicates it is a modern hoax.


Nostradamus.   Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus.     Wordsworth Editions,   1999.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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