If you’re reading this around the time of writing, then I don’t think I need to tell you too much about the coronavirus outbreak. Naturally enough though, I have wondered about the name of the virus.
It’s a notable one, that’s lead to many lame jokes about Corona beer. And, surprisingly, some people apparently actually believing that the virus is named after the beer, and can actually be contracted by drinking it. Honestly…
Anyway, while thinking today that people’s concerns about the virus are understandable, I wondered if the memorable name has helped to exaggerate these concerns.
I assumed the name was related to the English word crown (corona in Latin, which can also mean halo), but couldn’t imagine what the link could be.
Well, the first interesting thing I learned when looking the name up was that there are multiple coronaviruses, with coronavirus referring to any in the coronavirus group which cause respiratory tract infections in humans. The current outbreak is of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), named because the outbreak began in December 2019.
The corona- part comes from the structure of the virus particles (virions) which have the appearance of a crown or solar corona.
So, nothing to do with the beer, sadly.