WI: COVID-19 type pandemic 20 years earlier

How would the emergence of a virus like SARS-CoV-2 in late 1999 and the resulting havoc across the globe have been different from the OTL pandemic? What would the disease have been called? Pathogen naming conventions were changed a few years before the COVID-19 outbreak, so it probably wouldn’t have been called COVID-99. With computer technology not being as advanced, working from home would not have caught on in the same way or have even been possible for many professions. Online learning wouldn’t have been possible for students either. How significantly would this increase cases and deaths? Y2K conspiracy theories would take off like a rocket as the onset of a pandemic as the new millennium dawns would feed into end of the world fears. There would also be repercussions for the 2000 US presidential election- if the Clinton administration handles it well then Gore could get enough of a boost to win by a decent margin.
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Social media would have been in its infancy and there would be no world wide medium like Facebook. Consipracy theorists would have a harder time. More people would get vaccinated.
How well was global travel in 1999-2000? Probably not as sophisticated as today. For all it seems, those who feared the Y2K apocalypse would see this pandemic as the end times.
Well, Y2K would come true in a sense, as in a major disruption happening in the year 2000. I was born at the end of 2000, so I might not even exist if my parents didn't boink that day in the spring of that year.
Social media would have been in its infancy and there would be no world wide medium like Facebook. Consipracy theorists would have a harder time. More people would get vaccinated.
Vaccine hesitancy isn't a new phenomenon - I recently read https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/long-view-ye-olde-anti-vaxxers about people reluctant to get vaccinated against Smallpox (so far more likely to kill you) nearly 100 years after Jenner, and I've read similar accounts about anti vaccine campaigning with regard to the Polio vaccine.
The response might actually be faster because the rest of the world has not experienced sars and ebola which did not really spread so people might take it more seriously than in our timeline. This could also burst the dot-com bubble earlier which might actually make Busch win a more comfortable victory which would help him a lot. If the bubble burst earlier and perhaps even harsher it might butterfly 2008 which in itself could change modern history as we know it.
This might even butterfly 9/11 because of flight restrictions which would change US foreign policy and the middle east as we know it.
Well, at least it would help America forget about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, allowing VP Al Gore to win the 2000 election in TTL (he lost by an extremely narrow margin in OTL). Only certain people would come into work/school on certain days, and it could help the transition from dial-up to broadband occur earlier in TTL, and the narrowing economic conditions would cause AOL and Time Warner to back out of any possible merger, seeing it as too risky for the time (thus preventing the ill-fated AOL Time Warner from existing as a result).


The fact that SARS turned into a dud led many people to think that COVID be the same. The thing is that a lot of research that went into SARS was the basis for covid vacines.

therefore we would of seen a much higher hospitalization and mortality rate. Maybe thousands of field hospitals in football fields across the US and Europe would of convinced people to behave differently but I not sure.

I recently read about anti mask protests during Spanish flu so I not sure that we in the end have different outcome. During Covid an anti mask zealot in Idaho stated when he was arrested that even if 150 million Americans died it did not give the government right to impede his rights. When faced with stupidity like that all we can hope is that natural selection takes the stupid ones firsts.
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The losses to Covid 99 would be horrendus, technology and tracking was not nearly advanced enough to stop the bug fast enough, thing is we (the world) developed the waccine as fast as we did becourse we after SARS where already in the development stage of an waccine against COVID family bugs (of which SARS is one).
Expect the world ground to a standstill as literally millions dies whitin a year since track and trace is not a thing (yet) smart phones where not nearly as common as they are now.
If you think about it, COVID 19 was only handled as well as it did with relative low number of casualties becourse the technology had advanced enough to make quarrantine a possibility.
If there is any upside whatsoever to this scenario whatsoever it is this, an early form of socialized medicine would develop in the US becourse the healthcare system as it is and where would break down completely due to the "Just in time" way of running healthcare in the US.
Furthermore it might make the 9/11 terror attacks go up in smoke since everybody and their granma would have far more important things to worry about.
Remember that testing could only be done so fast as it did becourse we are far more advanced in all level of medical science and computer tech now compared to COVID 99.