Integrated Systems Europe is the biggest audio-video trade show in the world, and this year’s iteration, happening right now in Amsterdam, was going pretty well for Norm Carson. He’s president of a specialty AV gear company in Tempe, Arizona–it makes a nice HDMI cable with lots of adaptor jacks at one end–and the conference seemed penalty, if perhaps more sparsely attended than usual. And then, around midday Tuesday, Carson’s phone lit up. Call after request was streaming into his company’s headquarters. Because Carson’s company is called Covid, and as of Tuesday, so is the disease caused by that new coronavirus.
Per the World Health Organization, the unwieldy, serial-number-like moniker 2019 -nCoV is no more. The infection that has infected more than 40,000 people around the world and killed more than 1,000 is now officially called Covid-1 9–CoronaVirus Disease, 2019. And per the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses( in a preprint, so not peer reviewed, but likely to be cleared ), the microbe itself is now called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.
Not much better? Sure, the brand-new appointments don’t have the pith of a “SARS” or a “bird flu.” They’re certainly not great for Carson and Covid. “We form high-end wall slabs and cables for the commercial-grade marketplace, and we’ve wielded really hard to build our symbol and build good commodities, ” Carson says. “So any time you’re associated with a worldwide pandemic, I think it’s something to be concerned about.” Indeed; just ask the marketers at AB InBev, makers of Corona beer.