New York Mag’s Intelligencer reports:
Last October, two months before the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 emerged in central China, a group of public-health experts gathered in New York City for a simulation. Their objective was to determine how industry, national governments, and international institutions could work together to respond to a hypothetical “pandemic with potentially catastrophic consequences.”
Such a pandemic is no longer just a hypothetical. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s preparing for a coronavirus pandemic and the organization’s former director flatly declared that COVID-19 “will become a pandemic.”
The characteristics of the virus currently causing global havoc are remarkably similar to the one proposed in the simulation, dubbed “Event 201.” The simulated virus, called CAPS for Coronavirus Associated Pulmonary Syndrome, began in Brazilian pigs who passed it to farmers. It resulted in symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to pneumonia. Three months in, the hypothetical illness had caused 30,000 illnesses and 2,000 deaths.