New COVID variants are like iPhone software updates: They all seem super similar, and most of us don’t keep up with them anymore. So in case you didn’t get the memo, there’s a potentially concerning new variant, Omicron XE, which some fear might be the most contagious mutation we’ve seen so far. XE, which was first discovered in the U.K., appears to be a combination of the BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Omicron that have been spreading through much of the world. This sounds absolutely terrifying, and some experts are worried that XE might be the most easily transmissible of any of the COVID variants — so far, the data suggests it could be up to 10% more contagious than BA.2, per Bloomberg. Luckily, only 637 people in the U.K. have been knowingly infected and there’s no evidence that the variant is deadlier than any existing version of Omicron. Still, we’re eyeing China’s massive lockdowns and wondering whether XE has the potential to bring us back into some form of quarantine. To read the full story.