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Fact Check: No, COVID-19 Doesn’t Mean ‘See A Sheep Surrender’ In Latin, Viral Claim On Etymology Of COVID-19 Is Fake

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: July 23, 2020

New Delhi (Vishvas News): A viral post on social media claims that COVID-19 means “see a sheep surrender” in Latin. Vishvas News investigated and found the viral post to be fake. Latin language expert dismissed the claim. WHO also stated that ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ 

Claim

The viral claim reads: “‘Ovid’ is Latin for a sheep. COVID starts with a C, which also means ‘see’ in ancient language. 19 was known as the “Number of Surrender” in ancient times.”  It goes on to draw the conclusion, “COVID 19 = ‘See a Sheep Surrender’”.  The archived version of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

Vishvas News started its investigation by breaking down various elements of the viral claim.

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that CO’ in COVID stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’

As per the viral post, COVID-19 stands for See a Sheep Surrender in Latin Language.

Vishvas News spoke to Dr Jonathan Wallis, a Latinist and lecturer in Classics at Australia’s University of Tasmania and discussed regarding the viral claim. He said, “The viral claim is fake. In Latin language, sheep is ‘ovis’ (not ovid). Also, in Latin C = ‘100’. And Latin is the only ancient language that has the letter C. I’ve never heard the number 19 as having any significance in this respect.” 

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry on number symbolism, the eclipses of the Sun occur every 19 years and the number was considered unlucky in ancient Babylon.

Vishvas News also contacted World Health Organization (WHO). As per the spokesperson of World Health Organization, COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ 

On Feb 11, 2020, WHO held a press conference in which the Director-General of WHo explained the meaning of COVID-19.

The post is shared on Facebook by a page named Healthy Wild And Free. When we scanned the page we found that the page has 74,796 followers.

Conclusion: COVID-19 Doesn’t Mean ‘See A Sheep Surrender’ In Latin, Viral Claim On Etymology Of COVID-19 Is Fake.

  • Claim Review : COVID-19 Means 'See A Sheep Surrender' In Latin
  • Claimed By : FB Page: Healthy Wild And Free
  • Fact Check : False
False
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

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