The COVID-19 pandemic was supposed to be over by autumn. Many people assumed that once vaccines were widespread, the pandemic would be left in the past. Unfortunately, thanks to variants and the spread of anti-vaccine sentiments, COVID-19 is still going strong. This has left many people’s fall plans in shambles, leading to the rise of an internet meme weighing “my fall plans” against the delta variant.
The straightforward meme first cropped up in early August, according to meme tracking website Know Your Meme. Making references to everything from popular television shows and movies to sports and other pop culture moments, the meme has spread nearly as fast as the dangerous variant it humorizes.
The delta variant’s continued spread has forced lawmakers and local businesses to unveil new restrictions aimed at keeping communities safe. Some businesses and venues across the nation are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and many schools will require masks when they open their doors for the 2021-22 school year.
To top it off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that immunocompromised Americans consider a fall booster shot to keep themselves protected from the delta variant. The continued threat of COVID-19, months after many people expected the danger to pass, has fueled the “my fall plans vs. the delta variant” meme to new heights.
As people come to terms with the demise of their plans for fall, the meme has taken over nearly every social media platform. Some of the more popular iterations play on the infamous attack planned by acquaintances of Tonya Harding against rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.
The meme has only grown from there. People are taking refuge in the amusing trend, burying their frustration and sorrow over the continued threat of COVID-19 in humor. It won’t make the delta variant go away or lessen the threat from emerging variants like lambda, but at least “my fall plans vs. the delta variant” memes can keep us laughing while the pandemic rages on around us.