Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The UK/British Variant

Philosophy News image
As the virus behind COVID remains active in large populations, it mutates and produces new strains. This is one reason why continuing to follow safe practices until herd immunity is reached is so important. If the “freedom” to serve as mutant incubators persist widely and long enough, the current vaccines will be reduced in effectiveness and another pandemic could occur. But my concern here is not with that issue, but with referring to COVID variants by their regions of origin. One example is what is called the “UK” or “British” variant. The correct designation is B .1.1.7. Other examples include what are being called the “South African variant” and the “Brazilian variant.” These should also be referred to by their correct, non-geographic designations and here is why. Trump and his fellow racists made the conscious decision to call the virus the “China virus.” I have argued why this usage is racist in other essays, so I will not repeat my arguments here. While responsible media outlets did not use “China virus”, the use of the geographic names of the variants is quite common. They should not be doing this, for the same reasons I advanced against using the term “China virus.” Moral consistency requires applying moral principles the same way in similar contexts and if it is wrong to use “China virus” then it is wrong to use “UK variant.” One concern with the widespread used of the regional name of variants is that doing so allows people to argue that “China virus” is acceptable to use and is not racist. After all, if the mainstream media and scientists can talk about the “UK variant” without being racists, then surely Trump and his fellows can use “China virus” without being racist. While this argument is generally made in bad faith; the reasoning is solid: if “UK variant” is not racist, then “China virus” would (probably) also not be racist. The easy and obvious reply is that using the term “UK variant” is wrong, so using “China virus” is also wrong. The same. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: A Philosopher's Blog

blog comments powered by Disqus