In 1978, Stephen King wrote his masterpiece, a giant epic titled The Stand. The novel told the story of the apocalypse brought about by a strain of influenza.
That novel was expanded when King became big enough to call his own shots with a revised version in 1990 that added over 300 more pages of story to the book.
In 1994, The Stand arrived as a TV miniseries with stars like Rob Lowe (9-1-1 Lone Star), Molly Ringwald (Riverdale) and Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) in the lead roles.
Now, The Stand is coming again, this time to CBS All-Access, with James Marsden as one of the lead names in the role. Now shooting the series, Marsden pointed out scary similarities to The Stand the recent coronavirus epidemic.
James Marsden compared The Stand to coronavirus
To catch people up who have not read the novel or watched the previous adaptation, The Stand starts off on a military base where the U.S. Government is weaponizing a virus.
However, when a soldier ends up infected with the strain, he escapes the base and spreads it. Soon, the disease strikes and when people travel the world on planes before it can be quarantined, the world starts to die.
99.4 percent of the Earth’s population dies and only those with a built-in immunity to it survive, although they carry the disease as well, making them contagious to those who are not immune to it.
On Thursday’s episode of The Big Ticket by Variety, James Marsden, who portrays Stu Redman (the Gary Sinise character from the previous miniseries) talked about the similarities he sees with The Stand and the coronavirus.
“There are scenes in the beginning of ‘The Stand’ where as soon as you see someone who looks normal sneeze or cough into their arm, everyone’s eyes in the room darts towards them,” Marsden said. “I see that in public now, and everyone kind of takes a few steps away from the person. It’s crazy. We’re in full panic mode right now.”
While some Stephen King fans feared that the coronavirus would affect the eventual release of The Stand, that won’t be a problem since it is not scheduled to hit CBS All-Access anytime soon, so there will be plenty of separation between the current scare and its release.
Stephen King speaks up about the coronavirus comparisons
While James Marsden is completely right when it comes to the current panic of the population with the coronavirus, Stephen King wanted to make sure people don’t overreact.
In The Stand, there was a 100-percent infection rate and almost the entire Earth’s population died.
As King said on Twitter, the coronavirus is nothing like that.
“No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.”
No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 8, 2020
The truth is that most medical officials have confirmed that washing hands and not touching your face (or other people) is a great way to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
According to the CDC, people should avoid contact with sick people, avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, stay at home when sick, wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, disinfect all surfaces in the household, and cover coughs and sneezes.