This Week in the New Normal #51

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.
A somewhat briefer than usual TWitNN today, as our editor has been felled by a bad case of the ‘flu – sorry, we mean “an apocalyptic plague”.

1.”New omicron variant” lands

They’ve been prepping the ground for a new “Covid” wave this autumn for weeks now, and that kicked into another gear this weekend, with media coordinating on stories of a the new Omicron variant.

The Guardian has an “explainer” article headlined “Will there be a Covid winter wave in the UK? Here’s what the scientists think”, which goes into detail about all the components of the supposed “Omicron soup”.

Bloomberg warns of the new “subvariant” causing “surging cases” all over Europe.

Meanwhile Fortune is running interference with the fast-approaching flu season, attempting to persuade people its possible to tell the difference between “flu” and “Covid” through symptoms alone.

2. Monkeypox is back…a bit

In other “variant” news a spanking new “monkeypox variant” is said to be cruising around Africa. That’s right, after months of quiet, we got some activity from the pandemic-that-never-was this week.

Apparently the new strain is over 10x more deadly than the previous one, and “experts” have called for “action” (they always do).

In America, within the same twenty-four hours, both Chicago and New York reported their first monkeypox deaths. Sorry, that would be “monkeypox-linked deaths”.

Two each, for a total of four. Easily worth vaccinating all those 100,000s of people, I’m sure.

Good news though, moving forward New York city has announced they will no longer be calling it “monkeypox”, because that is stigmatizing. Instead they will be calling it “MPV”….which is short for “monkeypox virus”.

Take that, patriarchy.

3. Blackouts incoming?

UK media sources have been gleefully predicting blackouts this week:

The head of Britain’s electricity and gas systems’ operator has told households to prepare for blackouts between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays during “really, really cold” days in January and February if gas imports are reduced.

While some companies are making bank exploiting people’s fear, but that always happens.

Now, will there definitely be blackouts or power cuts? Maybe, maybe not. It’s still possible they’ll be “avoided” by “deft handling of the crisis”, and we’ll be asked to be grateful for our exorbitant energy bills.

The silver lining is that despite being locked in a fierce ideological struggle ovef the future of the world, the US and Russia are still working together to power the world with fusion. Which is nice.

4. Climate change and the “next pandemic”

Yet more material for the “pivot from covid to climate” file, as Euro News reports:

Most diseases worsened by climate change, new research reveals. Here’s what we can do about it

The Guardian has the same exact story, only citing a different “expert”:

Climate crisis poses ‘growing threat’ to health in UK, says expert

The propaganda line here is fairly transparent, it’s all about manipulating the public into associating “public health” and “climate change”, despite there being no logical connection between the two.

This isn’t even the only example of pathetically transparent climate propaganda from this week.

The Independents reports today that:

Human rights being violated as consequence of climate change, says UN official

Apparently climate change is now an political action, and since the Western world is most responsible for emissions, we’re actually oppressing people’s human rights if we don’t change.

It’s not all bad…

Here’s Bob Moran on the Tory’s latest leadership contest…

Neil Oliver has his say on the same…

And the two James with their own inimitable New World Next Week…


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention Aldi’s plans to sell more edible insects or Guardian pre-emptively excusing yet more austerity.

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.


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