1. The joke is that we refuse to call COVID-19 by the name of the country that created/fostered/developed/unleashed it and instead invented a nonsense word so we don’t offend anyone.

    Adams presumably would have preferred “Wuhan flu” or something.

  2. Powers, that understanding of the Dilbert is pretty much why we were calling it provocative.
    Gang, it’s fine to try to analyze what the cartoon is getting at. But please let’s do our best not to get into outright arguing the underlying validity or error of the hypothesis.

  3. If indeed the consensus is correct, what I want to know is why is Adams flogging this particular horse now? We’re all kinda sick of the whole pandemic thing, there is no new insight or angle, it just really seems to be the distant thunder of a receding storm saying, “…and another thing!” two hours after the argument is over.

  4. It certainly does look too-late and mis-spirited.
    But another reading we tossed around was still that it was about the “novel coronavirus”, but not the “origins debate”. Instead, just dismay at the recent and current proliferations of variants. Seeing news about “Omicron.BA.4-5” could be the annoyed inspiration for “X7QB.3”.

  5. It’s not a nonsense term, it’s derived from Corona Virus 2019. Most of the other viruses of that sort weren’t named for the country of origin either, like SARS and MERS.

  6. Without getting into the politics of it, whatever Adams’ point was, he missed the mark since this crowd can’t figure it out.

  7. I’ve seen really good jokes in the last few months that were decades in the making.

    This one’s kind of original and while the controversy of it flames out quickly, it does keep popping up.

    I applaud the ones here who know the topic of the strip but have not given away how the strip expresses it.

  8. The “Co” and “Vi” parts were obviously derived from “coronavirus” but the “d” was not. It’s still a neologistic coinage and not a word that previously existed.

  9. I thought the secret might be taking X7QB.3 and flipping it backwards and upside down. I get EBOLX when I do that, which is close to ebola, but not quite there.

  10. @Powers- The coinage was from “CO”rona “VI”rus “D”isease 20″19”.

    @Brian in STL- MERS- Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Not a specific country but still based on the area were it was first detected.

    Naming of virus-related diseases seems haphazard: Ebola was named after the Eblola River in Central Africa were it was first reported, Bird Flu from its animal vector, COVID from the virus species.

  11. Oh gosh! I entirely missed that! We were all convinced Adams must be just making up a nonsense string.

    Considering how firmly Dogbert asserts “It was made by Elbonians, in an Elbonian lab, and the main ingredient is Elbonian DNA” the point still could be some variety of “origins” controversy.

  12. Turn it upside down? Like the old calculator trick? He should have made it more obvious: 5318008.

  13. The naming of viruses after geography isn’t done any more. This is, in part, because it was inaccurate. For example, the Spanish Flu of 1918 (H1N1 now) was called the Spanish Flu because it was reported in Spain first, because Spain had different news censorship rules (Spain was not a belligerent). The first known case was in Kansas, although the actual geographic beginning is unclear.

  14. Interesting. They mispronounced “Asok”, and I also object to the assertion that the TV series wasn’t funny, but otherwise it’s pretty on-point.

  15. There IS a DVD set of the Dilbert TV series in existence, although it’s probably almost as hard to find nowadays as an affiliate station of the broadcast network that originally aired the show.

  16. I’ve got the dvd set, but it’s one of the couple of hundred dvd sets I’ve not gotten around to playing/watching. On the other hand, I think I saw almost all of the original DILBERT tv shows and remember them well, so it’s not top of the list priority. Surprised though to learn it’s hard to find; any idea why?

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