The COVID-19, or coronavirus as it was originally called by many, outbreak continues to strike fear in many across the globe, with almost 1,500 deaths reported in China’s Hubei province.
However, that did not stop people on the internet from raising an interesting fact, that a masked character in a 2017 Asterix comic release was also called ‘Coronavirus’.
In the 37th edition of Asterix and the Chariot Race released in 2017, Asterix, the titular character from the French comic, faced off against Coronavirus, a masked Roman villain with a reputation of stopping at nothing to win.
The fact was brought up once again by actor Jaaved Jaaferi who felt that this tidbit was “too good not to share”.
The words in the speech bubble introducing Coronavirus reads, “Here comes our favourite, straight from Rome! The Champion with MCDL XII victories! The one they call the ‘The Masked Augira’, the great coronavirus, and his faithful Bacillus.”
Bacillus is the Latin term for bacteria.
Interestingly enough, it should be noted that Coronavirus the masked chariot racer eventually failed to win against Asterix.
Though we often associate the term coronavirus to the current COVID-19, the term ‘coronavirus’ is actually used to refer to a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common flu to the more severe diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) or the COVID-19.