Coronavirus: COVID-19's controversial new social media nickname

A controversial nickname coined by young people for the novel coronavirus has sparked debate on social media, after the term became a trending Twitter topic last week. 

The term 'boomer remover' refers to COVID-19's higher mortality rate among the elderly, the Baby Boomer demographic spanning ages 56 to 74. 

"I have been informed by a relative who is a middle school teacher that students are now referring to coronavirus as the 'boomer remover'," one user said in a tweet that amassed more than 690,000 likes last week. 

Although 'boomer remover' started appearing as a social media mention at the end of February, it only became a trending topic on Twitter for US users late last week.

It has prompted widespread debate as to whether or not 'boomer remover' has to have malicious intentions, with Newsweek claiming the term has provided a battleground for generational warfare. 

"Teens calling the coronavirus the 'boomer remover' is shitty, but people trying to lecture them on how it's wrong... need to remember what teenagers are like," one user weighed in.

A post by comedian Toby Muresianu jokingly acknowledged 'boomer remover' as a suitable replacement for 'Wuhan virus', a term typically used among prominent US conservatives according to Newsweek, despite criticism that the nickname could be considered racist. 

The expression follows the popularity of the term 'okay boomer', also regularly touted by young people, which dismisses the conservative political and social views associated with the Baby Boomer demographic.

"Millennials and Gen Z: dying from depression, homelessness, non living wages, mass shootings, poor healthcare, etc.

"Boomers: Walk it off, snowflakes.

"Millennials and Gen Z [call coronavirus Boomer Remover].


"Boomers: spend 40 years trying to kill the planet for younger generations [because] they didn't want to pay taxes.

"Zoomers: this new virus that only kills old people is the boomer remover.

"Boomers: how f**king dare you! This is offensive! Have some respect for other generations.

"Zoomers: [ironic]". 

According to China's Center for Disease Control, about 1.3 percent of people who contract COVID-19 between the age of 50 and 59 die, the mortality rate soaring to 4.6 percent among 60 to 69-year-olds and to nearly 10 percent for victims between 70 and 79. 

A small study of 191 patients across two hospitals in Wuhan found the 54 deceased had a median age of 69.