"Novel" Coronavirus.

Why the change in nomenclature?

Until last it was referred to in just about all media as " Coronavirus".

What does " novel " mean?

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Novel means a new strain of Coronavirus, to distinguish it from existing strains that give you the disease known as “A Cold”.

There wasn’t a change. It was always referred to as “novel coronavirus” since the begining. You can do a news article search and find it refered to in that way in the very first reports. Reporters just kind of got lazy and shortened it to just “coronavirus”. But there are many coronaviruses out there. It’s just a ‘type’ of virus. “Novel” in this sense is from it’s secondary meaning as an adjective meaning “new and original, not like anything seen before”.

So novel coronavirus just meant “a new variety of coronavirus that’s never been seen before”.

Yes, “novel” means appearing in humans for the first time. Old speculation was this one came from a snake, but now I’m seeing speculation that we got it from a pangolin that got it from a bat.

Oh, and the media referring to it as “coronavirus” is like referring to the ivory-billed woodpecker as “bird.”

Note that around 15% of infections bracketed under “common cold” are actually coronavirus, so if you’re an adult, chances are you’ve had a strain of coronavirus at some point, and have the antibodies to prove it :slight_smile:

Some existing strains are a bit more serious than “a cold” - SARS and MERS for example.

So waiting around for the audiobook coronavirus is a waste of time? Shoot.

Maybe a closer parallel would be referring to H1N1 as “influenza” or “the flu”?

“Novel” is a term of art in science writing, with a more precise meaning than “new” - it means something not previously described in the literature.

If you use PCR (or is that OCR?), you could load it onto your eBook reader…
PS Your post is why we need a “that’s hilarious” button on this message board.

Related question: how long does this “novel” coronovirus get to be novel for? What happens when a newer (more novel?) one is discovered?

For 2 months, then it gets downgraded to a novella coronavirus.

No, at that point it comes out in tissue paperback.

That’s why the full name is “Novel coronoavirus 2019”. Presumably, the next one discovered will be “Novel coronavirus 2020”, or maybe 2021 or 2022 or whatever. I don’t know what they do when more than one is discovered in the same year-- Stick letters after the year, maybe?

Using “new” or a synonym in a title/name for something is one thing that always bugged me in Computer Science.

Some idjit decides to name something “New BlagFarp” to distinguish it from the original BlagFarp. But of course then along comes a newer Blagfarp and everybody starts getting confused by the filename or whatever as to which one is really the new one. Put a date or sequence number in it.*

“New” only works for a short time. It gets old fast.

New Coke was doomed from the start due to the “New”.

So when I saw “novel” being thrown around in this context, I was shaking my head. The change is good. But it should have been given a better name much, much sooner.

  • Which is why we all know that Windows 95 is newer than Windows 10 and not all related to Windows Vista. :frowning:

I checked a few other threads and decided this is the best one in which to put this post. If the mods decide, the post can be moved.

Here’s an on the ground report from Beijing. I just returned from three weeks outside of China. Oddly enough, if the wife and i had planned our trip to depart one or a few days later, she would not have been able to go to the US without being put in quarantine.

Anyway, we flew out of Beijing on 20 January for a two-night layover in Seoul. Then we flew to Atlanta. You would think we could have gotten some tourism in, but, no, government stuff occupied the majority of my time. I did get to introduce my wife to the family back in Dixie, though. Everyone was super concerned about us going back to China.

After a week in Georgia, back to Korea on 1 February/landing on 2 February. We could not meet the grandma who’s in an assisted living facility as the staff at all such facilities in Korea is worried about people infecting the residents. The other grandma is self-quarantining at home for the same reason. Other relatives were too busy with work and life. After all, their holiday was already over by this time. I did get to watch the exciting parts of the Super Bowl (aside: whoever designed and whoever approved the 2020 logo for it should be fired–damn thing still looks like the Roman numeral 53 done wrong).

I flew back to Beijing on 13 February. The airport in Seoul would not allow anyone through the security check without showing a mask (another aside: those damn things are useless–I wear glasses and with the mask, my glasses fog up; that means the bad stuff is also getting in). The airline gate agents would not allow anyone to board without showing the mask again. The gate agents and the flight attendants all wore masks and surgical gloves.

Landing in Beijing was all right. Usually when I get in the immigration line, there are a couple of hundred people in front of me. This time there were about sixty people and we all went through quickly. Customs check was also quick and easy this time.

The taxi ride home was interesting. First off, nobody was permitted to get into the taxi line without wearing a mask. The taxi drivers, of course, were also wearing masks. The driver followed the directions of his navigation app to get me home. That turned out to be a problem. Each community (think of apartment complexes or small town districts) was completely cut off. The navigation app, of course, shows the quickest or shortest route, meaning it was to drive through another community before mine. We got stuck there. I whipped out my mapping app and showed the driver on that map the route we needed to follow now. I live next to the south gate of my apartment complex, so we drove past the north gate to go around the block to the south gate. Yep, there was a sign on the south gate saying access is only permitted through the north gate. Back around the block! We got there and, as the taxi driver is not resident in my community, he was not permitted to drive through the gate. I paid the guy (with a good tip because he was pretty decent about the whole issue) and unloaded my luggage at the security gate.

Now, this is the more fun part. I had to show my passport and my accommodation registration form showing I actually do live in the community. That was kind of funny because all the security guards know me. My wife and I are the only two foreigners living in this community. I also had to complete and sign a form showing my name, passport number, method of return to Beijing, where I had been over the last two weeks, and my current temperature (the guards took the temperature). The form is turned over to the district office the next day.

So, I dragged my luggage home and, as my destiny is apparently to always live in a fourth-floor walk-up, dragged my luggage up three flights of steps. I got all that home and hunkered down for the night because–hooray!–there is a severe weather alert from the evening of 13 February all the way through 15 February. Lots of snow. I hate snow.

The snow thing kind of torqued me, because I’m required by law to renew my accommodation registration form when returning to China. To do that yesterday, though, I had to first get a pass to leave my community. That entailed going to the on-site property management office, showing my passport, my old accommodation registration form, my boarding pass (hint: do not throw that thing away if you’re traveling to China!), and, yet again, getting my temperature checked. So, now I have a pass to exit and re-enter my community.

Then it was off to the police station on my little scooter, trudging through snow. The roads are devoid of traffic, the police station was practically a ghost town, and I had to show the usual documentation plus boarding pass this time to show where I returned from.

After getting my new registration form, I rode the scooter back a different route to see what was open. Wow! The major grocery stores are open, but I did not see a single mom and pop shop open. I counted exactly one small restaurant open. The shopping malls were closed except for entrances to the grocery stores. The main farmers’ market (which, by the way, is not a “wet market”) near my community was locked down when the taxi passed it Thursday evening. There is another farmers’ market closer to my apartment, but that is only present and open three days a week, so I’m betting that sucker is in hiatus now, too.

Work stuff is getting weird. My school, following the Beijing municipal government’s directive, is starting the term online. Apparently, the Chinese teaching staff were involved in that, leaving us foreigners out of it. There is another plan in place for us foreigners to teach our classes online but that has not been solidified yet. Anyway, the practice run yesterday for the students and the Chinese teachers went as one would expect for teenagers (the students, of course) who are not the best behaved students in the country in the first place.

My church’s area presidency directed on 24 January that Sunday meetings in mainland China not be held for 25 January and 2 February. That got modified on 5 February to include the next two Sundays in February (through the 16th), and included permission for families with the appropriate priesthood to hold Sacrament service in their homes. There was also an announcement echoing the city government’s announcement discouraging multiple families from meeting together. My experience getting home indicated to me that the only way multiple families could meet together is if they’re already living in the same apartment complex.

I’m glad my wife is staying with family in Korea for another few weeks!

According to a recent Vox article, the new coronavirus is loose in Singapore. It can’t be stopped. The question is how quick can it mutate.

Actually the “novel” was just a placeholder name, has been removed, and it is now Covid-19 as its official disease name and SARS-CoV-2 as the official name of the virus itself.

I’ve actually usually heard it called “the 2019 novel coronovirus”, which suggests to me “coronovirus that was newly discovered in 2019.” Chronos’s order of those words doesn’t make as much intuitive sense to me.