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'Internet Protocol address B.1.1.529 is nothing to worry about,' says dark robotic voice

An Artificial Intelligence overlord which runs the developed world has sought to allay fears of a mutant Internet Protocol. Al, as it is known in East London, although wrongly called Hal in the West of the city, spoke to the humanoids in its calm mode setting. Unfortunately, a minor miscalculation in how humans work meant that the dark robotic voice speaking to all from the heavens caused widespread panic, and a sequence of calamitous reactions.

Not unlike a complete stranger entering a busy room to inform everyone that he does not have crabs, Al said, 'Earthlings, rumours of a mutant IP address known as B.1.1.529 are nothing to worry your pretty little heads over. Remain calm, avoid divisive or speculative commentary, and continue with your daily masturbation routines.'

People with a nose for being told something which is probably the opposite of what has been said, immediately commented in divisive and speculative ways. Those who take everything they are told at face value regardless of the source and providing that it fits with what they want to do anyway, continued not wearing masks. Tranches of the population who turn anything into a wide-eyed screaming catastrophe, crashed their Segways and fainted. Residents of Stoke-on-Trent whinged about the price of potted mutton. And one individual in central London hid in a fridge.

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