Although it was taped months ago, a strangely prophetic episode of the trivia game show Jeopardy! didn't air until April 7, in the midst of the U.S. struggles with the global pandemic.
One question during the competition, which seemed completely ordinary at time of taping, sure feels eerie from the April 7 vantage point.
The Jeopardy! "College Championship" was filmed on February 3 and 4, 2020, as the Yale Daily News reported at the time. February 3, 2020 feels like an eternity ago.
A New York Times article from that day reads like a time capsule. The first ever death (globally, that is) from the virus was reported and the U.S. had 11 confirmed cases.
Nonetheless, one question in the "Health & Medicine" trivia category prophecized the doom that just a month and a half would bring. As time passed and the virus crisis has worsened, the coincidental prediction taunted the present situation when it aired much later on April 7.
In the news on April 7?
The U.S. passed the 12,000 deaths mark.
You can watch the moment from February here:
“Pandemic” an answer on Jeopardy tonight. Eerie ! https://t.co/nd9eUdMMlG— Christopher Powers (@Christopher Powers)1586301750.0
The clue prompted the college student contestants to identify a seemingly random term with a Greek root:
"From a Greek word for 'people,' it describes a disease that affects many people at one time."
Yale's Nathaniel Miller was fastest on the buzzer, correctly answering with "Pandemic," a word that on February 3 wasn't heard every 45 seconds. The World Health Organization announced the presence of a global pandemic on March 11, over a month after the exchange.
Naturally, the prescient moment had Twitter paranoid and escalating.
Really #Jeopardy? "We would also accept - 'What is our current sh*t situation." #pandemic https://t.co/0432A30c7x— AC Junior (@AC Junior)1586303203.0
When “pandemic” is a response to a clue on @Jeopardy that was filmed months in advance https://t.co/NPZupZAMhD— kirsten (@kirsten)1586313764.0
Really Jeopardy? Pandemic? 😒 #Jeopardy https://t.co/PXpQCUzQR5— Derek (@Derek)1586301729.0
@Glutton4Pnshmnt @Jeopardy They “accepted” pandemic.— Samantha Sontag (@Samantha Sontag)1586313539.0
My mom and I when “pandemic” was an answer on jeopardy tonight #Jeopardy https://t.co/iP7qPdnmq3— Kassidy Klein (@Kassidy Klein)1586307625.0
With so many people self-isolating in their homes, the "College Championship" episodes of Jeopardy! may be watched by a few more than is typical. If that's the case, that means several more sets of eyes watching the clues, drawing connections to the present and totally freaking out.
Alas, Jeopardy! trending on twitter is better than "stay at home" orders being disobeyed.
So keep up the sorcery Jeopardy!, go right ahead!