Social media has invented a new virus, sort of. The term #COVID20 went viral across the internet on Monday morning as people responded to the new strain of COVID-19 that’s moving through the United Kingdom.
What’s going on?
Officials announced a new strain of COVID-19 has begun to move through parts of Europe and the United Kingdom, prompting massive shutdowns in many areas days ahead of Christmas.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new variant spreads more easily, “and may be up to 70% more transmissible” than previous variants.
Experts don’t expect the COVID-19 vaccine to have any problems fighting off the new strain.
Is the new strain COVID20?
No. The term COVID-19 refers to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The 19 part is a reference to 2019, when the virus was first reported and identified by authorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How did people respond?
Well, the internet responded just as the internet always responded — with humor and confusion. The term #COVID20 began to trend on Twitter Monday morning, where people rolled their eyes at the idea of COVID-19 overstaying its welcome into the new year.