Corona beer is a famous light Mexican beer beloved by many Americans. Americans are also infamous for having poor knowledge of geography and generally not researching critical topics of current interest too deeply so that strange ideas are easily formed while also seriously influencing public discourse. One of such items is that the coronavirus currently wreaking havoc in China has been equivocated with Corona beer by some in the public, leading to mass confusion and rumors about the product.
BoingBoing discovered that in the past few days, there has also been a spike in searches for “corona beer virus,” because apparently people are under the impression that coronavirus, also known as nCoV, has something to do with Corona brand beer, also known as the reason college-aged you screamed “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME” after throwing during an otherwise chill game of beach volleyball.
The searches have been prevalent in North America (but not in Mexico, where the beer is produced) and western Europe (we see you, Finland), as well as in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, and New Zealand.
It’s disappointing that this needs to be written, but the only thing that Corona beer and nCoV have in common is the origin of their names. In Latin, corōna meant ‘crown,’ and modern languages continue to reflect that; ‘corona’ still translates to crown in modern Catalan, Spanish, and Italian, among others. (source)
While I expect sale of the product to temporarily decline because of this reason, the fact is that such an example illustrates the ‘madness of crowds.’ People do not think before they act many times, and it is this chaos that is often exploited by those with money, power, and some knowledge to cause violent public shifts which they exploit to their benefit. It is a reason why one must try to move slowly but consistently, to carefully review any facts before accepting them, and to be open to criticism, but most importantly, never just to rush into anything or support of something because it seems to be new or popular lest one be absorbed into the madness of the masses and trampled by them in the stampede.