Is the coronavirus really connected to Corona beer?

Every company loves free publicity, but Corona beer is probably none too thrilled that its name is now being associated with a deadly virus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, according to the WHO. With nearly 8,000 confirmed cases spread out over 18 countries, the novel coronavirus has ballooned into a legit worldwide concern (via WHO). Unfortunately, in both the United States and abroad, the name similarity between this new health emergency and Spring Breakers' go-to brew has frantic citizens flocking to Google for info, leading to a surge of odd searches in the last week: "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus" (via CBS News). 

What's the connection between Corona and coronavirus?

Spoiler alert: The beloved lime-wedged beer from south of the border has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus. Oddly, though, there is a bit of a connection in the etymology of their names. Though this strain is new (hence the "novel" in its name), human cases of coronaviruses were pinpointed back in the 1960s (via the CDC). They are so named because, under a microscope, they show spike-like protrusions that create a corona, or halo, effect, often compared to a king's crown. Meanwhile, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine reports that Corona beer, made since 1925, is named and logoed after a crown pictured on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  

Are Corona beer makers in a panic?

CBS News notes that, in the United States, beer lovers in Arizona, Nevada, and Connecticut were most apt to Google "corona beer virus," "beer virus," and "beer coronavirus," while internationally the greatest number of these searches originated in Portugal, Poland, and Cambodia. Still, in a separate article, CBS explains that Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona, remains unflustered by the misunderstanding, stating that most consumers know there's "no linkage" between the deadly virus and its beer, despite a $5 drop in shares over the last week — a fitting alarm-free response from a brand that promotes the laid-back life with the tagline "Find your beach." Undoubtedly, Corona execs and investors alike hope the recent confusion will prove a short-lived squall rather than full-scale tsunami.