Researchers at Oxford University have made an alarming discovery that a strain of the novel coronavirus has been shown to transmit over video calls. Alarm bells started ringing earlier this week when several cases of the new variant, Covid-19.2 Snow Leopard, were traced back to a tech firm’s Monday morning catch up, a meeting which unknowingly became a superspreader event.
Concerns were raised the following Monday after 94% of the company’s workforce called in sick, prompting UK authorities to investigate the matter.
‘What is clear is that the new digital strain travels through the audio of Zoom calls,’ said Sam Bainright, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Oxford University. He later added, ‘we don’t believe it to be any more deadly, but the fact it’s transformed into a computer virus is hugely concerning.’
An article posted today on the UK Government website urged friends and co-workers to use Zoom only when absolutely necessary, to wear a mask when on a call, and please, go on mute when you’re not speaking. ‘We need to be extra vigilant about the new way this virus is transmitting,’ whimpered Matt Hancock from Downing Street. ‘Unfortunately, this means that Zoom can no longer be used for social interactions such as funerals or games of Pictionary.’
Reactions to the Government’s latest guidelines were mixed with many members of the public left frustrated that one of their last methods of communication has been taken away. Many more rejoiced however, knowing they could no longer be coaxed into any more joy-snatching Zoom quizzes.
In an effort to slow down the spread of the new variant, the Government cybersecurity division has since teamed up with Matt Hancock’s sister’s mate who works at Pfizer, to develop software to combat the strain. However, a company spokesperson warned us not to expect a silver bullet, telling reporters: ‘Even with an effective anti-virus in place, we may still be living with digital restrictions for quite some time.’