COVID-19 Omicron Variant meme example depicting the alien from Omicron Persei 8 in Futurama.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant

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COVID-19 Omicron Variant refers to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The public was first warned about the Omicron variant in late November 2021 when it was found by South African scientists. It is a successor to the Delta variant, considered a more contagious and deadly version of the original strain of COVID. According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) November 29th, 2021, warning about the virus, it is unknown whether the variant is more dangerous than the original or Delta strain, but noted it still poses a severe global risk. The threat of the variant resulted in a number of border closures across the globe, as well as memes reacting to it, with many expressing exhaustion over the virus.


On November 26th, 2021, the WHO[1] designated the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) a "variant of concern" at the advice of the organization's Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE). According to their information page on the variant, the disease was first discovered by South African researchers. WHO[2] posted an update on November 28th. As of that date, WHO claims it is unclear if the variant is more transmissible than other variants, although it noted that its presence in South Africa is increasing. It is also unclear if the variant is more dangerous than other variants and how well the current vaccines work to stop it. Current tests remain effective in detecting the variant.

Around November 30th, it was reported that the Omicron variant was first detected in the Netherlands between November 19th and the 23rd, days before the virus was found in South Africa.[8] It is unknown if the tested patients had visited South Africa.

Spread and Response

Following the news of the Omicron variant, various countries took action to combat it. According to the New York Times[6] live update article, the variant caused Japan to close its borders to all foreign travelers and delayed Australia's set reopening day. Six cases were found in Scotland and 13 in Portugal. A case was also found in Ontario, Canada, according to The Globe and Mail.[7] Ontario put a temporary ban on all travelers from South Africa.

Response From South Africa

South Africa responded negatively to the travel bans being placed on their country, saying it felt like they were being punished rather than praised for finding the new variant. A statement by the South African foreign ministry states, "Excellent science should be applauded and not punished" and that the bans were like "punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker." An official for the African Union alleged that developed countries were to blame for the virus' spread.[9]

Online Reactions

The new variant inspired strong, varied reactions and memes across social media. For example, on November 26th, 2021, Twitter[3] user @THEGrantHolmes posted "Me learning the new COVID variant is called Omicron" along with an image of Lrrr from Futurama, the ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8, gaining over 10,600 likes and 2,100 retweets in three days (shown below).

Grant Holmes ... @THEGrantHolmes Me learning the new COVID variant is called Omicron C

On November 27th, TikToker and orthopedic surgeon @dr.john.d posted a video explaining the severity of the virus using the available data and encouraging people to get vaccinated, gaining over 4.5 million views in two days (shown below).

On November 28th, Reuters[4] published a story on the variant, titled "Omicron poses very high global risk, world must prepare -WHO." On the same day, the 9GAG Facebook[5] page shared a Tom and Jerry meme expressing exhaustion and depression about the variant, showing Jerry uncaring and unsurprised about it, gaining over 142,000 reactions and 22,000 shares in a day (shown below).

Various Examples

OMICRON VARIANT PEOPLE SLOWLY RECOVERING AFTER 2 YEARS OF B------- RVCJ www.RVCI.COM Me tryna find my 14th booster pass for the Omicron Variant so I can buy a sandwich (2025, colorized) @BeautyAndMoc Look, the Omicron variant! See, nobody cares. “The Presidents attempts to limhe spread of the Omicron variantegin toda

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Top Comments

Lone K. (Echoid)
Lone K. (Echoid)

in reply to thebigguy123

Actually the grandest non-conspiracy here.

Vaccine manufacturers give vaccines to all but the poorest countries.
People are satisfied by the effective vaccine.
But the leftover countries can't get it. They are left to fend on their own and will likely end up propagating the pandemic within themselves. And when they inevitably cultivate a new variant due to the infections, that variant can spread into the rest of the world, thereby causing more waves of infections and a need for a new vaccine (unless that variant neutered itself to overtake the previous strains).

The science is there and is incredibly effective, but corporations sacrifice the public face of the science to make sure they can milk money as long as possible.

tl;dr destroy any politicians supported by pharmaceutical companies it's the only way we'll get out of this nightmare


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