Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Comedic genius like THIS is what we log onto Twitter for

Elon Musk, the entrepreneurial business king, was called out for questioning rapid COVID-19 testing to his large Twitter following, before researching the testing. In the call out, the Twitter user referred to Musk as a “space karen,” which has since inspired a wave of ‘Space Karen’ memes. 

The Tweet That Did It

On Friday, Elon Musk took to Twitter to point out the irregularity of rapid COVID-19 testing results. He claimed that after being tested four times and producing both negative and positive results, that “something bogus” was going on. 

Twitter user, Dr. Emma Bell swiftly denounced Musk, explaining that rapid antigen testing only detects high levels of infection. They continued by saying that rapid testing is not ineffective, it is just made to quickly identify those most contagious so as to limit the spread of infection. Bell ended their tweet by calling out Musk for not doing his do-diligent research on the type of testing he was getting before tweeting about its’ bogus-ness to his millions of followers. The highlight of the call out tweet by far though was Bell dubbing Elon Musk as ‘Space Karen.’ 

Bell elaborated by posting two additional explanatory sources. The first was a graph that shows the probability of COVID-19 detection for the available tests. They said that Musk’s results fall perfectly in line with how rapid antigen testing works, only giving a low false negative result for a couple of days. 

The second resource they posted was a scientific article for reference explaining how rapid antigen testing works.

Not only did Dr. Bell call out ‘Space Karen’ on Twitter, but they actually wrote out an informative blog post, detailing why Musk’s test results do in fact make sense. 

Musk moved on to questioning PCR testing, asking if it was possible to produce a false positive with that type of testing.

 

In Bell’s blog post, they briefly explain that no, it is not possible to produce a false positive with PCR testing. They continue to explain how PCR testing works and the pros and cons between PCR testing and rapid antigen testing.  

Okay, But Space Karen…

While we aren’t sure whether or not Bell’s explanation actually reached Elon Musk, they have successfully dubbed the SpaceX CEO as ‘Space Karen.’ And the internet has taken quite the liking to his new nickname. 

‘Karen’ has been the meme name traditionally reserved for the type of person who exhibits behavior you would assume of a sassy mom. You know, the ones who always ask to “speak to your manager.” Often, ‘Karens’ are thought to be privileged middle class white women, but anyone can be deemed a Karen if they’re acting accordingly. Most recently, Donald Trump has been called the “White House Karen” for his refusal to accept election results. 

 

Elon Musk questioning the science behind rapid COVID-19 testing has a similar tone of privileged condescending. But the nickname produced several silly internet memes that just make you chuckle at how ridiculous they are. Of course there were several manager jokes to be made, the staple behavior of a Karen. 

Others directed all space and COVID-19 related questions and concerns to their Space Karen, Mr. Elon Musk.

This Twitter user joked that all the Space Karen jokes might prompt Musk to sponsor an anti- medical science group in retaliation. Let’s check back in a few years on this.

And with ‘Space Karen’ and ‘White House Karen’ both trending on Twitter on the same day, some can’t help but imagine that these two Karens would probably be friends.

The internet is seriously applauding Dr. Bell at how funny ‘Space Karen’ has been. Many immediately lost motivation for the day, knowing full well that they wouldn’t be able to top the hilarity that is ‘Space Karen.’

Despite having no motivation (what’s new, 2020?), a good Monday was had by all, thanks to the brilliance of science. Even Elon Musk, despite being dubbed ‘Space Karen,’ had a good Monday with the successful launch of his SpaceX project.  This project marks the first time his company will be delivering a crew for a full half year station stay. The four astronauts on the project were launched into space Sunday night and are safely in orbit. The team named their capsule ‘Resilience’ after the hardships faced from 2020.

It should be noted that Musk, or Space Karen, was forced to monitor the launch from afar, as he probably has a mild case of coronavirus.

Let us know what you think about all the Karen hoopla, and stay safe out there!