“When do we deploy the next variant? We frighten the pants of everyone.” These are the exact words of former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom, Matt Hancock. He was communicating with Damon Poole, Department of Health Media Special Adviser.
Hancock texted Poole how they would “frighten the pants off of everyone with the new strain”, to which Poole replied: “Yep that’s what will get proper behavior change”. “When do we deploy the new variant” asked Hancock, but Poole was careful: “Been thinking more about this and think we need to be more cautious”. “Worth doing a bit about no leaking at the top I think”.
One week after this communication within the UK government the new variant was indeed deployed, to “frighten the pants off of everyone” and “get proper behavior change.”