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ξ Who Must Not Be Named

As explained by the Wikipedia article on the official nomenclature for variants of SARS-CoV-2, the use of letters of the Greek alphabet to refer to the different variants of Covid-19 was chosen by the World Health Organization specifically to avoid referring to variants by their country of origin, as practised by certain naughty former US presidents. We have had the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu and Nu variants.

I guess the WHO didn’t anticipate the list would go past thirteen.

“Omicron variant reaches Britain”, reports today’s Sunday Times.

Only the fourteenth letter of the Greek alphabet is not Omicron. It’s Xi.

Edit: In the comments TomJ says that actually two letters have been skipped. The variant all the papers were calling “Nu” the day before yesterday was hastily renamed “Omicron”. Allegedly they jumped over “Nu” because it sounds like “new” and they jumped over have “Xi” because it is a common surname, a story to which I might give an iota of credence if it came from someone other than the World Health Organisation. The excellent investigation by the Sunday Times Insight Team, China, the WHO and the power grab that fuelled a pandemic, is unfortunately behind a paywall, but here is an excerpt:

Our investigation reveals today how a concerted campaign over many years by Beijing to grab power inside the WHO appears to have fatally compromised its ability to respond to the crisis. It raises serious concerns about the extent of Beijing’s influence over the WHO and its director-general, and how this undermined the organisation’s capacity — and willingness — to take the steps necessary to avert a global pandemic. Its leadership put China’s economic interests before public health concerns. The results have been nothing short of catastrophic.

The Xi variant, indeed. Pity there isn’t a Greek letter called Pu.

36 comments to ξ Who Must Not Be Named

  • However, Lrrr, ruler of the Planet Omicron Persei 8 is not quite so pleased.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Omicron” variant – the Fear Department has been working hard.

    Now we are back to mask mandates – which will destroy busses and trains (who is going to spend hours in a mask). And other restrictions.

    Only today I was in a room with others talking – soon that will be illegal.

    The last words of Charlton Heston’s character in the first Planet of the Apes film, spring to mind.

  • Paul Marks

    As Neil Oliver just said on GB News – “masks do not work”. Actually SOME masks DO work, but not the sort of mask that the government are pushing.

  • APL

    Paul Marks: “Actually SOME masks DO work, but not the sort of mask that the government are pushing.”

    Yes, the right mask for the task. N95 are pretty good, but as they have a one way valve to permit the air to be expelled, they don’t protect others. But they are better than that rubbish everyone is currently wearing. The real problem is that folk have been brought up on a diet of Scrubs and/or Grays anatomy, so adopted an utterly useless mask in an attempt to ‘protect’ themselves.

    Getting back to N95 masks they are rated to filter out 95% of particles .3microns and larger in diameter. Covid viri are 0.1microns, so even the N95 mask won’t protect you against contracting COVID-19 (any varient ).

    Don’t waste your money ( an N95 mask is about £35 ) and don’t wear a mask in a futile attempt to protect yourself. Although if the government (spit!) mandated N95 masks, we might see a lot fewer discarded masks littering the streets.

    Natalie Solent: “I guess the WHO didn’t anticipate the list would go past thirteen.”

    Doesn’t the Greek alphabet have 24 characters? Seems the WHO missed a trick there.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    APL, it just makes me laugh that in their anxiousness to not have anyone say “The China virus” or “The Wuhan virus”, the WHO didn’t see the Xi Virus coming. Then they had to swerve rather too obviously to avoid it, giving rise to another instance of the Streisand Effect.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    This is enormous fun. Let’s all look at the slow kids not classically educated rushing to avoid any association with Winnie the Flu, point at them and laugh.

    It’s as if they can’t conceive of coincidences in transliteration. Yep, the Chinese leader’s name looks like ‘Xi’ and is pronounced as ‘she’ (embarassing enough, fnarr fnarr), but the Greek letter is pronounced as “key”. Nowt to do with Winnie.

    And yet our self-appointed betters, who don’t know jack about anything, are more than willing to tell us how to understand the world around us. Fuck ’em all.

  • Let’s all look at the slow kids not classically educated (Philip Scott Thomas, November 27, 2021 at 11:05 pm)

    The mathematically-educated are apt to know the Greek alphabet fairly well, even if the classical playwrights and philosophers are all Greek to them.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . the slow kids not classically educated . . . “

    I’d like to think that some of us un-classily-educamated types have other strengths . . . 😉

  • Tim the Coder

    Greek letter whose obedience is this.

    Omicron anagram moronic – They really are having a laugh.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Philip Scott Thomas: The Greek letter that looks like X is indeed pronounced sort of like k (it’s actually aspirated, so it’s more like a Spanish j). But the Greek letter in between nu and omicron doesn’t look like X; it’s three horizontal lines, the one in the middle shorter than the top and bottom (that’s the capital; the lower case one is the one Natalie used). I believe its pronunciation in the English vernacular (as in American fraternity names) is “zigh,” but the ancient Greek pronunciation was more like “ksee,” meaning that it was actually phonetically equivalent to x, as in sphinx and larynx and xenos; and it’s transliterated as x, whereas the letter that looks like X is transliterated as ch or occasionally kh.

    (A case of alphabetic false friends, like the Russian and Greek letters P, both pronounced as r.)

  • James Hargrave

    Fat and fatuous of Downing St strikes again. Should I try that Second World War gasmask in the attic?

    Perhaps burning a few witches resident thereabouts and slaughtering the firstborn would help until a plausible alchemist is installed as Chancellor?

  • TomJ

    Actually, we haven’t had Nu; despite (or perhaps because of) early reporting it was skipped as well, to avoid confusion when the next new variant comes along.
    B.1.1.529, which the linked to report calls Nu, is officially Omicron. This lends a little credibility to WHO’s claim it’s just trying to avoid confusion in major languages, however much its previous behaviour vis a vis the CCP makes one suspicious of it.

    [TomJ, Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve edited the post to reflect your comment -NS.]

  • Paul Marks

    The submission of the “International Community” (including the despicable “World Health Organisation”) to the People’s Republic of China continues – it is not really fear, it is envy and the desire to copy the PRC.

    Via the wonders of modern technology I watched Dr Klaus Schawab and the rest of the “Davos” people welcome the ruler of the People’s Republic of China to one of their conferences – the love-of-evil that the World Economic Forum people have, was obvious.

    It may be that President Donald John Trump was the last hope to resist the domination of the PRC led “International Community” – but we shall have to see.

    As for the United Kingdom – there seems to be no effort to break dependence on goods made in China.

    The only bit of 19th century economics that the international establishment respect is freedom for imports. They do not care about keeping down government spending and taxes, they have never met a regulation they did not like, and they support “money” which is entirely fiat (whim or Credit Bubble), – but freedom for imports that bit of Classical Economics they do support.

    I am reminded of the high (very high) taxes on Irish landowners in the late 1840s (“Irish Property Must Pay For Irish Poverty”) the only way to pay those taxes was to export food – export food in the late 1840s.

    If endless government spending, taxes and regulations is “Laissez Faire” then I am Alexander the Great. And the idea that Western countries can just carry on creating “money” from nothing to pay for everything to be made in China – is insane, utterly insane.

  • Mr Ecks

    Wont be wearing any mask –in shops or on the bus. Tho very rare I get on a bus anyway.

    That is the key. Don’t obey Johnson’s bullshit. If you obey Bogus J will in 3 weeks go to full LD to spoil Christmas. If you ignore and resist his BS–the con-vid scam will end–at least in the UK.

  • Natalie Solent

    Philip Scott Thomas, I’m not classically educated. My knowledge of the Greek alphabet came from the Children’s Encyclopedia I had when I was ten. I was reminded of the Greek letters when studying physics, but I got the idea of this post from jokes about it being all over the internet yesterday. I don’t laugh at the coincidental similarity of spelling – my view on idiots who make a big deal about that sort of thing was expressed in this post – I laugh at the way a bunch of very well educated members of the international elite were so cravenly anxious to avoid associating the virus with China that they ended up associating it with Xi Jinping.

  • Stonyground

    The problem with this is that it only works if everyone does it. In my neck of the woods the unthinkers were taking to their masks in droves even before the latest nonsense started. So, as a tiny minority you just look like a contrarian idiot and unfortunately I can’t see a time when you would be vindicated by having been proved right.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ecks – the mask mandate almost destroyed public transport (outside London and the big cities), this new mask mandate may finish the job.

    As for shops – Amazon and other such leftist establishment mega corporations are salivating at the idea of people turning away from shops, especially independent shops (who are already in such a terrible position).

    I just do not know what to do – the elected governments of Western lands seem to be just a puppets of the leftist “international community” (the officials and “experts” of the international leftist establishment elite) and that “international community” can burn in Hell.

  • Bruce

    In a vaguely related vein:


    He apparently still loves the NHS.

    Just how deep is that conditioning?

  • bobby b

    Here in leftist progressive Minnesota, USA, the new-strain panic is palpable. I went grocery shopping earlier, unmasked (which is normal for here up until yesterday) and got yelled at by two women for it. Took me by surprise. Thought we were past that.

    Flying to Fort Meade this week, and I’m being told that the panic is even worse out there (close by DC.) Should be interesting.

    (And, appropo of nothing, our Minnesota Best Buy stores are now under the Los Angeles-style mob-attacks. Eight miles south of me, 30+ masked youths invaded and swarmed and stole from one BB store, and, 15 miles north, the same. Time to move to my winter environs, I think! They still shoot looters where I’m going!)

  • Alex

    Was that misspelling of apropos a deliberate attempt to provoke a classicist pedant, or for that matter a classist pedant, Bobby? 🙂

  • Since more recent reports from South Africa are that the new variant is apparently no big deal that might explain another reason to not call it the Xi variant: they can’t have something called Xi be a weedy failure

  • TomJ

    I am now kicking myself that I failed to use the phrase “an iota of credibility”…

  • Paul Marks

    It is still hard for me to grasp that we are all supposed to wear, medically useless, masks from tomorrow (Tuesday) as some sort of gesture of submission (compliance) to international “governance” (World Economic Forum and all the other organisations – and the local officials and “medical experts” who serve this system).

    It is very bad. And what of Parliament? In March 2020 they voted for six months Emergency Rule – but it has been almost TWO YEARS now.

    If (if) this does reach past two years (goes past March 2022) – then I suspect serious questions are going to be asked as to why Parliament exists at all. Parliament is supposed to defend the liberty of the subject (their persons and property) against the state – if it continues to fail to do that, why have a Parliament?

    I suppose the answer is – elections. If one’s Member of Parliament keeps voting for Emergency Rule (for the right of the state to impose such things as “lockdowns” and “mask mandates”) then one should vote against that person at the next election. Of course that rather depends on there being a candidate in one’s constituency who is AGAINST Emergency Rule (AGAINST the World Economic Forum, and the various other international organisations and agendas).

    One of the utterly bizarre things about the last two years is the “Opposition” parties. At every stage the Labour Party, the “Liberals”, the Scottish Nationalist Party and-so-on have been more (more – not less) in support of Emergency Rule (despotism) than the government party has been.

    “We intend to attack the principles of the Common Law – thus undermining the liberty of the subject” – and the “Opposition” responds “NOT ENOUGH! Do it MORE! Whip the people with scorpions!”

    As for health – the measures since March 2020 have been very bad for health (they have not “saved lives” – quite the contrary), but then this is not really about health, indeed all the nations that did not lockdown have a lower (lower – not higher) Covid death rate than we do. And many deaths will be caused by the lockdowns (and so on) via other causes.

    Have a look at cancer deaths – and heart disease deaths (especially heart condition deaths in the young – once very rare). Let us hope things do not turn out as badly as some fear they will.

  • […] Natalie Solent noticed something else that was bothering me slightly. I’m hardly an expert on this, but the (so-called) powers that be have been naming these variants with the next letter of the Greek alphabet, as good as anything else, I suppose. In my experience that goes like this: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu. Nu supposed got changed to ‘Omnicron’ because it sounded too much like ‘new’. […]

  • Snorri Godhi

    Hah! I started saying “the Xi virus” over a year ago!

  • Fraser Orr

    I’d just like to nominate Natalie’s title “ξ Who Must Not Be Named” as the best post title of the year. It struck me that there are a number of parallels between the characters in that book and our current political environment. Trump strikes me as very “Mad Eye” Moody, Bill Clinton is definitely Gilderoy Lockheart, Hillary Clinton is obviously Delores Umbridge, and cackling Kamala Harris is obviously Belatrix LeStrange, and Joe Biden just begs to be the wannabe Wormtail. Any other suggestions?

  • Wont be wearing any mask … If you ignore … the con-vid scam will end – at least in the UK. (Mr Ecks, November 28, 2021 at 2:25 pm)

    The problem with this is that it only works if everyone does it. (Stonyground, November 28, 2021 at 6:41 pm)

    Well, yes and no, Mr Ecks and Stonyground.

    – On the one hand, Scotland has never stopped demanding masks, but we stopped for tea and cake yesterday in an Inveraray hotel/cafe. The two girls behind the desk wore masks and invited us to fill in a track and trace form, but the young scotsman who brought the refreshments we ordered didn’t bother. During the busy half-hour or so we were there, he served several groups and never wore a mask nor did I did see anyone in the fairly-full, frequent-turnover cafe look like they were noticing, let alone caring. I could tell more such stories.

    – On the other hand, this young man and other waiters I’ve seen (and more customers – who, to be fair, have fewer potential consequences to worry about) behaved as they did but were not provoking the vengeful rage of Nicola by open, signalled defiance, and they are a minority. Gestural adherence to the rules, sometimes precise, sometimes partial and perfunctory, is far more common. Mental adherence is also common – in another cafe I was in only a few weeks ago I overheard a manageress lecturing her staff on their duty to go on obeying the rules. Her words presented it as a moral duty, not just “we might get fined or shut down”.

    So Mr Ecks is right that you can dial back your obedience to mask rules a long way and yet seldom meet so much as a raised eyebrow, but Stonyground is right that such acts will not of themselves end the rules while a marked majority of customers and even higher proportion of staff (who have more to lose) stay to the windy side of the law. As long as the public give their rulers a general impression of obedience, and also generally keep from them any instances of quiet disobedience that the public notice, the only conscious cost to our natz rulers of not abolishing mask rules is the effort of brazening it out whenever they are caught on camera breaking the rules themselves.

  • bobby b

    “As long as the public give their rulers a general impression of obedience, and also generally keep from them any instances of quiet disobedience that the public notice, the only conscious cost to our natz rulers of not abolishing mask rules is the effort of brazening it out whenever they are caught on camera breaking the rules themselves.”

    This all reminds me of Ayn Rand’s “you think we want you all to obey our laws? No, we want you to break them so we can punish who we want to punish” speech. A rule that can usually be, and is, ignored, but which can also be enforced whenever the enforcer wants to punish some specific person strikes me as worse than one that demands obedience. Put a BLM hat on one maskless person, and a MAGA hat on another, and I bet I know which one is arrested first.

  • Fraser Orr

    I think this is the specific quote @bobbyb was referring to. Very insightful I think, though in my opinion I don’t think this is necessarily a conscious plan, more a side effect of a megalomaniacal desire to control everything, along with an accretion of laws that comes from the belief that every problem needs a government fix.


  • The last toryboy

    What annoys me is virtue signallers saying “you must comply, think of the immunocompromised!”.

    I am immunocompromised. Even before the pandemic started I was advised not to go to nightclubs and the like. Obviously. There’s more you can catch than Covid out there.

    Just had an argument with a lefty on Reddit who deployed that argument on me – for starters you don’t speak for me, don’t burn our freedoms with me as an excuse. It pretty soon became clear that caring for my well-being wasn’t the agenda at all, being a loud member of the correct thinking tribe was. Always the left doing this, too, it’s just odd. You would have thought the left would be eager to defy a Tory’s edicts.

  • Snorri Godhi


    This all reminds me of Ayn Rand’s “you think we want you all to obey our laws? No, we want you to break them so we can punish who we want to punish” speech. A rule that can usually be, and is, ignored, but which can also be enforced whenever the enforcer wants to punish some specific person strikes me as worse than one that demands obedience.

    This would be a worthy SQotD.
    But it must be added that the same is true of the whole of wokeness.
    Intersectionality means that any enemy of the establishment can be declared an Enemy of the People.

  • Paul Marks

    It is all so absurd. I put on a medically-useless mask in the post office today (as if I was going to rob the place) – I do not have to (because I have COPD) but I did not feel like explaining all that.

    Anyway the strap broke (they tend to – I have a large head, and large clumsy hands) and I had to hold on to the thing with my teeth (making it even harder to get oxygen), whilst trying to explain that I wanted to send some Christmas cards by airmail.

    We all know these edicts are demented nonsense – yet most people (including me) obey them. It is like the Soviet Union – as most people there did not believe the propaganda either (but still had to obey).

    The basic point is ritual humiliation.

    I am told that was the point of Soviet propaganda – everyone knew it was a collection of lies, but they had to obey and (indeed) parrot the messages. Hence ritual humiliation.

    Even in my weakened state I could snap Dr Klaus Schwab’s “Build Back Better”, “Great Reset” neck – yet I do nothing, because the international leftist establishment HAS THE POWER.

    As for Prime Minister Johnson – yes I know he is only obeying orders. But he is in a position where he could say NO – no one would fine him or put him in prison if he said NO, he could say NO.

    Yet he goes along with all of – the lockdowns, the masks, the “net zero”, all of it.

  • Paul Marks

    Now Sweden is demanding “vaccine passports” to go to events – it is clearly nothing to do with health or a virus, this is a about POWER AND CONTROL – on an international level.

  • Dave R

    They are all the Xi varient.

  • Paul Marks

    Dave R – yes they are all the result of the “accident” in the Wuhan lab (which I increasingly doubt was really an “accidental” release).

    But do not forget the Western helpers -such as Tony Fauci and Peter Daszak of the “Eco Health Alliance” and the “World Health Organisation”.

    I am sometimes accused of being a brutal and intolerant man, and perhaps I am – but I do not kill hundreds of thousands of people to push my political agenda, the left establishment DO.

    By the way (for fools who think Mr Putin is going to save them) – RT was in full propaganda drive mode today.

    People in Hazmat suits (but not put on correctly – I could see gaps which would allow the virus to touch their faces) and nice children in hospital coming out with stuff about how they were dying horribly because people were not being vaccinated (yes – that propaganda line).

    The children forget to cough – I suppose coughing (indeed showing any sign of being ill) was not in the script.

    I was reminded of the Chinese propaganda films from Mach 2020 – where obviously healthy men would wave their arms about (in ways that sick people do not) and then “fall” “dead” on the street. The over acting was very bad – but the under acting in the Russian propaganda film was no better.

    The danger with typing the above is someone from the Putin regime might read it (not likely – but possible) and decide they “have to” kill the children and in order to make the narrative more convincing.