The Simpsons has a track record of predicting world events, and for good reason! There have been some eerily spot-on predictions. Other times the prediction is questionable, and possibly the internet stretching just a bit to force a connection when there really was nothing there all along. Some may say that's the case with the latest "connection" making the rounds, in which some are saying that an early 90s episode correctly predicted the spread of the coronavirus.
The alleged reference comes from the 1993 Season 4 episode "Marge In Chains." The episode features residents of Springfield coming down with the "Osaka Flu," which was being transmitted via sick Japanese workers packaging juicers shipped out to the United States. A Simpsons story with an illness originating in Asia has some on social media tweeting the discovery of another Simpsons prediction, and altering pictures to include "Corona Virus" alongside images from the episode.
To say this "prediction" is loose may be an understatement. Despite the altered image in the above tweet suggesting otherwise, The Simpsons never refers or shows anything called the "Corona Virus" in "Marge In Chains." Additionally, the fictional illness originates from Japan and not China, which is where the coronavirus originated. Finally, there is no indication that the virus has spread via goods shipped to the United States, but rather via visitors to China.
Really, the only link is that The Simpsons broadcast an episode where Americans got sick with a flu that came from Asia. In the most general of terms one can say there's a connection, though that connection is about as thin as the hairs on Homer's head. Had "Marge In Chains" made reference to China's Wuhan region, the allegations of a prediction may have held more weight, but on its own this "prediction" could refer to any past or present Asian virus that affects Americans.
The whole event is similar to the recent allegation that The Simpsons predicted the San Francisco 49ers winning Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers ended up losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, and even if they did win the uniforms the team wore in the episode in question did not match the ones they wore in game. Connections can be made with a lot of things if people search hard enough, but it doesn't always mean there's actually a connection. While I'm never one to doubt the clairvoyance of Simpsons writers, any connection between "Marge In Chains" and the coronavirus feels like a big stretch.
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