Speculating about the origin of the coronavirus

Very interesting and encouraging. The way this behaves so differently than anything we’ve dealt with is confounding, scary, interesting and lends to conspiracy theories, for better or worse.

Every time I read an article about how this virus does something that nothing we’ve ever seen before does, it gives me a weird feeling. I sometimes think there is a significant chance this escaped from a lab. In this case significant may mean 5-10%, but we’re all treating it like it’s 0%.

I would assume China is one of several countries that would likely be doing research along those lines for both good and bad reasons, and their hair trigger responses to this with shutdowns have also made me wonder if there’s something they know that the rest of the world doesn’t.

We’ll probably never find out anyway, so I guess it’s pointless to spend much time on it.

I’m guessing that at least some of the hundreds of viruses that comprise the common cold were super nasty the first time they went through the population. Seems like the asymptomatic spread if pretty unique though.

I don’t think it’s out of the question.

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I’ve been wondering about this lately. I guess the common cold became endemic way too long ago to really get a good idea about this?

I’ve been puzzling this over, too. Wondering how frequent outbreaks like this actually are. If they’re something that happens once every few thousand years or so, is that enough time to account for the common-cold set of viruses?

1 in a hundred people dying in the ancient world from a new cold virus that spread at walking pace wouldn’t have even made the local newspaper at the time, let alone the historical record.

People died a lot in ancient cities


I don’t, but you can believe whatever crazy bullshit you want tho. That’s what quarantine is all about, baby. Going nuts!


Novel coronavirus from bats pops up near a research facility studying zoonotic coronaviruses from bats, which was known to have poor safety procedures. I give it a 5-10% chance somebody fucked up and it escaped, and I’m buying into crazy bullshit?

Ok, lol.




I can see taking this line if the idea is that it was made in a lab, as opposed to just being studied in one. The latter is absolutely possible.

If it was being studied in the lab then it was already out there tho. And I haven’t read any evidence that it was being studied there before the outbreak

It appears to have evolved, not been engineered, so idk why it would have escaped from a lab

I don’t know all that much about labs that study viruses, but is it common for them to only study engineered versions of them? Being out there in bats doesn’t mean anything much; we’re already talking about it getting from bats to humans. I’m just saying it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the poorly-rated coronavirus-studying lab located in the region it first broke out was a link in the chain instead of like, a pangolin or whatever.

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It didn’t come from bats. The nearest they’ve found was in bats, but it appears to have decades worth of evolution from the version identified in bats and therefore a different host for that.

If we’re using a virus in a lab it’s gonna be a modified version.

when you’re working with shit that can escape, from viruses to flies, you mutate it so it needs a special kind of rare ass chemical to do basic metabolism. If a fly with like scary shit in its DNA escapes the lab it won’t survive or reproduce in the wild.

We’d see evidence of that kind of funny business in the genomic sequence and we don’t. We’re seeing it related to sars and mers in an expected fashion. I mean, was mers released from a lab?


If it could just be a matter of the people who refuse to be vaccinated dying and everybody else surviving, that would be great. But there are people who would like to be vaccinated who can’t, so this fucks them as well. And as cuse stated, vaccines aren’t 100% effective.

RE: masks, I know I wasn’t the only person here to whom it was obvious from the get-go that masks help prevent infection.

RE: whether the virus come from a lab, let’s have a little poll.

What do you think is the likelihood that this virus came from a laboratory (which can mean it was simply a virus they were studying that got out)?

  • 0%
  • 1% - 25%
  • 26% - 50%
  • 51% - 75%
  • 76% - 100%

0 voters

Fair enough. I suppose an exception would be bioweapon research and it would be a bit odd for a place like that to be subject to international safety ratings etc, so presumably not the case here.

I assume MERS didn’t escape from a lab, but to my knowledge the MERS outbreak didn’t originate down the road from a lab studying MERS-like viruses secured by a rusty screen-door and a Gone Fishin’ sign. What you’re saying does lower the likelihood a fair bit, granted, but even to mutate the virus towards something that can’t survive outside the lab, you have to mutate it from something that can - right?

So yeah, not impossible but seemingly unlikely enough to not really be worth discussing.

Yeah from the wild type. The thing that’s already out there


Not a great poll, honestly. I don’t want to say 0%, but 1 - 25 doesn’t really capture my actual opinion (let’s say 0.05%).

I don’t see what ‘already out there’ has to do with it. Again, we’re talking about transmission of the virus to humans, about how that happened. If I suggest it was from someone eating a pangolin, its being ‘already out there’ isn’t a relevant consideration, and it’s not relevant if it was from someone dropping a test tube or whatever.


In that situation, it would already be in pangolins, mutate slightly in the one pangolin that got ate, and then live in the human wot ate it

But it can mutate in a Petri dish or whatever too, right?

  • Evolution caused black plague to jump from fleas to humans
  • Time traveling scientists caused black plague to jump from fleas to humans
  • Time traveling scientists designed black plague to infect humans to kill an alternate timeline proto-Hitler
  • Time traveling nazi scientists designed black plague to kill non-aryans but it escaped unfinished because they didn’t respect proper safety procedures

0 voters

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