Saturday, January 07, 2023

The Kraken is coming (yawn)

The XBB.1.5 sub-variant of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is being called (or at least "referred to by some", according to this article) the "Kraken" sub-variant, and I have no idea why.

Despite first being detected as recently as October, XBB.1.5 (and I have no idea where the "XBB" came from either - weren't we on "BA"?) is cutting a swath through the USA, accounting for 40% of new cases there, and up to 75% in some areas like the Northeast. It is just starting to make an appearance in Canada, with just a handful of cases registered in British Columbia, but it is ridiculously contagious and it seems only a matter of time until it becomes the dominant variant.

So, yes, it is kind of a big deal, if you can raise enough interest in a virus that has been with us for 3 years now. But whose idea was it to call it the Kraken sub-variant? Other variants haven't merited this kind of mythological status. Is it supposed to shock and scare us into protective action (good luck with that!)? Is it supposed to put some kind of an anthropomorphized face on a faceless virus? Is this sub-variant supposed to represent some kind of apotheosis? (Surely, more and more variants are going to continue to rear their heads - see, there I go too! - in the future.)

No comments: