As you've surely heard, the scientific and medical communities in South Africa recently discovered a new COVID-19 "variant of concern," which the World Health Organization dubbed Omicron.
And like clockwork, the conspiracy theorists among us have invented a new ludicrous explanation for the new variant.
It's a secret anagram announcing the cancellation of Christmas.
Why? Because if you rearrange the word Omicron you get "NO CRIMBO," a British slang term for Christmas.
Well, at least you do if you add the "B" from the virus' full name to the letters in Omicron while ignoring other alphanumerics, but never mind that, this theory is airtight!
Of course, there are several problems with this theory, chief among them that missing B.
But not to worry, the conspiracy theorists have that covered.
The full name of the variant is Omicron B.18.104.22.168.
And what do you see there? THAT'S RIGHT A B!
And a 1, another 1, a 5, a 2, a 9...
But never mind all that, those numbers are just distractions to throw us off the scent or something.
The next problem with this theory, though, is a bit harder to dismiss. Literally nobody on Earth calls Christmas "Crimbo" except the Brits—and even they mostly consider the term passé. Which suggests the entire world is now beset by a variant specifically created to ruin the holiday of Her Majesty's United Kingdom and Her Majesty's United Kingdom only.
To be fair, Omicron's timing could not be worse, and it has resulted in an ominous bit of backward motion on the British Isles. The government on Tuesday reinstated the mask policy it abandoned in July, once again requiring a face covering in most public places.
And though the government has explicitly downplayed the possibility, rumors have swirled that a fourth lockdown may be in the offing if Omicron proves to be especially problematic, which so far seems unlikely.
But even with the most generous reading this theory is ridiculous.
As someone cleverly pointed out on Twitter, Omicron B is also an anagram for "B MORONIC."
Makes you think!
And as others pointed out, it's also an anagram for MICRO NOB, "knob" being a British slang word for penis.
And of course, it also spells out a reference to a character on Thomas the Tank Engine.
WHAT ARE THEY NOT TELLING US?!
Overall, this theory inspired far more mockery than anything.
As for why the WHO skipped the Greek letters Nu and Xi in naming the new variant—one of the factors that sparked the conspiracy theory—the organization has already provided a simple explanation. "Nu" is too easily confused with the word "new," and "Xi" is a common Asian surname—most notably of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Go fish, conspiracy theorists.