The SARS-CoV-2 virus took the world by surprise, but by one measure, it arrived right on schedule. The first SARS virus was discovered in 2003; the related MERS virus hit in 2012. Today, we have COVID-19. In other words, novel coronaviruses seem to be making successful jumps to humans very roughly once per decade — and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop after this one.
Unfortunately for us, there’s only been so much cumulative progress when it comes to developing antivirals to fight coronaviruses. As closely related as the SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 viruses are, they’re distinct enough that researchers haven’t discovered a catch-all coronavirus drug. And unfortunately, the SARS and MERS epidemics simply may not have been catastrophic…tech, The Verge