There have been quite a few pandemic exercises in recent years that at least in part resemble how COVID-19 has played out so far. These include MARS (2017), SPARS (2017), Clade X (2018) and Event 201 (2019), amongst others.
The SPARS Pandemic 2025–2028 tabletop exercise focuses on communication management during a pandemic. The main body of the text is 66 pages with about 10 pages of references and appendices. The scenario is presented chronologically, including a timeline in the appendix that acts as an easy-to-read summary.
Although the scenario does not exactly match the so-called COVID-19 pandemic, some aspects are eerily familiar. Below are some key points.
President Randall Archer takes office in January 2025 since President Jaclyn Bennett (2020–2024) does not seek a second term due to health concerns. It seems someone was still hoping for a woman president. Also interesting is a president with initials JB who retires for health reasons.
The illness is first detected in mid-October 2025. Like COVID-19, it is first reported toward the end of the year.
Initially, there are three deaths, all belonging to the same church in St Paul, MN. Two returned from the Philippines, “where they provided relief to victims of regional floods”. It has to be from some filthy part of Asia, of course.
The three patients tested negative for influenza. CDC later used a “pancoronavirus RT-PCR test”, finding that the three were infected with a “novel coronavirus”. It is dubbed the “St Paul Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” or “SPARS-CoV” or “SPARS”. How convenient a RT-PCR test is used.
“At that time, no treatment or vaccine for SPARS was approved for use in humans.” But there is an antiviral drug Kalocivir “despite some concerns about potential adverse side effects”. Sounds like Remdesivir, but in this scenario it reads like Kalocivir is pushed much harder than Remdesivir. It should also be noted that even though the focus of this exercise is about communication, the authorities re-purposing existing drugs which are safe and affordable (such as HCQ) is not even mentioned.
A vaccine initially designed for animals for a SPARS-like virus is adopted for humans. Due to the adverse events in animals and potentially in humans, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) is invoked to provide liability for pharmaceutical entities. How convenient a vaccine is pushed right away with legal protection.
“By late January 2026, the WHO reported sustained transmission of SPARS in 42 countries across the globe.” So this thing spreads quickly in the new year.
Kalocivir’s effectiveness is questioned in social media, so the authorities try to counter anti-Kalocivir messages, including those who promote “natural medicine”.
“The CDC published analyses of this data, which indicated a much lower case fatality rate of 1.1%, compared to the initial 4.7% estimate.” Although there is nothing wrong with being cautious, it is interesting that the authorities overestimated the fatality rate which turns out to be almost nothing. Despite that fact, the narrative continues.
Given the safety concerns of Kalocivir, UK promotes another drug named VMax instead.
“In order to overcome the public’s disinterest, the CDC and FDA, in concert with other government agencies and their social media experts, began developing a new public health messaging campaign about SPARS, Kalocivir, and the forthcoming vaccine, Corovax. … Among those chosen were former President Jaclyn Bennett; BZee, a popular hiphop star; and Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health and a renowned global health expert.” Farmer sounds like Bill Gates?
The above approach is already cringe and it admits that there will some extra-cringe moments. The hiphop star is recruited to address the minorities; in this scenario, African-Americans. But it does not go well when BZee compares volunteers who participated in drug trials to those at Tuskegee. Also, Bennett hesitates when asked whether she would give Kalocivir to her grandson.
Soon after June 2026, the vaccine Corovax is approved. The distribution is initially aimed at “young adults 19-22 with chronic respiratory condition” and pregnant women.
In July 2026, just before the vaccine rollout, there is a massive power failure. Since promotion is done by electronic means, handouts have to be printed and distributed.
Given a successful campaign, vaccine uptake by December 2026 is relatively high.
In September 2026, Japan refuses the Corovax which adds fuel to the anti-vaxx position.
Vaccine uptake amongst college students remains low. There are some protests regarding supply.
As the information campaign continues, “Paul Farmer, the renowned global health expert, provided the dialogue for the first of these, wherein he lauded the safety and efficacy of Corovax and underscored the dangers of SPARS. His only regret, he said, was that the vaccine could not yet be made available to everyone on the planet.” Farmer definitely sounds like Bill Gates.
In late 2026, during the cold and flu season, bacterial pneumonia cases rise across the country. Antibiotics are distributed. The supply becomes a concern and public fear grows. According to real official data, the flu has mysteriously disappeared during the so-called COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, this scenario adds a second scare which is comparable to the COVID “variants”. And by the way, why is antibiotics not even mentioned as a possibility to treat SPARS symptoms?
Despite some supply issues, by January 2027, efforts to vaccinate the entire population are “actively underway”.
By mid-2027, claims of adverse events and injuries due to Corovax spread, including neurological conditions. Of course, the authorities are “concerned about the validity of … anecdotal data and the widespread sharing of patient information via the internet”. Anecdotal data on the internet, can’t have that!
Health authorities then research the possible connections. Obviously, the research wasn’t done before. The response to the public, or at least one of them, is basically “wait and see” as more data comes in. Right, because they obviously failed to obtain and/or ignored the data in the first place.
The pandemic official ends in August 2028. Regarding the virus: “A widespread social media movement led primarily by outspoken parents of affected children, coupled with widespread distrust of ‘big pharma,’ supported the narrative that the development of SPARS MCMs was unnecessary and driven by a few profit-seeking individuals. Conspiracy theories also proliferated across social media, suggesting that the virus had been purposely created and introduced to the population by drug companies or that it had escaped from a government lab secretly testing bioweapons.” Oh dear, “conspiracy theories”, can’t have that either!
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