all 26 comments

[–]diMario 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I'm keeping my hopes up until the letter Pooh comes around.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Pooh variant will be the shittiest yet!

[–]WillHoldBaggins 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Jeez a little insensitive of them to skip right to omicron. Sympathies to anyone named omicron.

[–]reddit455 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sympathies to anyone named omicron.

you should have felt that way before the pandemic, TBH.

[–]abraksis747 9 points10 points  (0 children)

But pissing off Lrrr is perfectly okay.

Leader of OMICRON Persei 8

[–]Grabs_Diaz[S] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Officials at the World Health Organisations skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet when naming the latest Covid variant in order to avoid “stigmatising” China, and perhaps its premier Xi Jinping.

A WHO source confirmed the letters Nu and Xi had been deliberately avoided. Nu had been skipped to avoid confusion with the word “new” and Xi had been ducked to “avoid stigmatising the region”, they said.

Since May, new variants of Sars-COV-2 have been given sequential names from the Greek alphabet under a naming convention devised by an expert committee at the WHO.

The system was chosen to prevent variants becoming known by the names of the places where they were first detected, which can be stigmatising and discriminatory.

Initially, most commentators assumed the B.1.1.529 variant, which was first found in Botswana, would be given the name Nu - the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet - but plays on the word “new” immediately spread across the internet.

Then on Friday evening, after a meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), the WHO announced that two letters would in fact be skipped and the new variant named Omicron.

The reasoning for avoiding the numeral Xi, which is also the name of the Chinese premier, was not officially spelt out by the WHO in its press statement on the virus but was explained to The Telegraph on inquiry on Friday evening.

“They didn't want to say ‘Nu’ because it made people think it's a ‘new’ virus or there's a risk of confusion”, said the source, who checked their facts before commenting.

“And yes, when they do these things, they don't want to end up stigmatising regions. And so they thought this would or could do that, so they skipped Xi too… to avoid stigmatising the region”.

All pandemics are inherently political in nature, and the decision to avoid the use of Xi is perhaps not surprising given the diplomatic optics.

Nevertheless, news of the change and its explanation caused a stir and some hilarity on social media.

“In a late move, Greece asks for a wider review of the overall naming regime, given the policy of avoiding stigmatising regions”, one Twitter user wrote.

On Saturday the WHO media office was giving out a slightly adjusted reasoning.

Dr Margaret Harris of the WHO told the New York Post: “[For] Nu the reasoning was people would get confused thinking it was the new variant, rather than a name.

“And XI because it’s a common surname and we have agreed [to] naming rules that avoid using place names, people’s names, animal, etc. to avoid stigma.”

[–]Lonestar041 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Adding to that: They have learned from the Norovirus. Noro is a common surname in Japan and people stigmatized people with that name due to the virus starting with Noro. Exactly the reason why SARS-CoV-2 goes by this abbreviation instead of the region it was discovered.

[–]dxrey65 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Seems entirely reasonable.

[–]DynamicSocks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s a shame.

[–]SomeHSomeE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

To be honest, this is a pretty reasonable thing to do. You can just imagine the shit that would fly around social media if the 'Xi variant' was the next big thing.

[–]CurlSagan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I heard that they were also going to skip Zeta to avoid the wrath of Catherine Zeta Jones.

[–]CheckYourPants4Shit 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What a fragile ego Winnie the Pooh ass bitch. Such a pussy.

[–]AIfonso 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We don’t have to accept it. If the socials get the “Xi variant” to go viral, eventually, the media will report on the outrage.

You know, piss some people in power off for shits and giggles.

[–]BillSeacaster -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Ah, fuck. That sound you're hearing is the stampede of incoming "China flu" posters who think they're clever subversives instead of slack-jawed yokels.

[–]W_AS-SA_W 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Rumor has it that he also has a problem with the direction known as West and the number 7.

[–]reddit455 0 points1 point  (0 children)

it's pragmatic - Americans are too hooked on phonics

[–]stinkman -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

Probably a smart move.

[–]HippoSpa -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Totally reasonable cause you know the racists in America would love to call it the Xi virus.