(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

That was quick. One minute Australia’s news media were all Omicron all the time. Next minute the new variant was gone, shuffled down the news lists, buried behind the daily grind out of Canberra, the coming summer of sport and the ringing-in of summer.

But Omicron’s brief moment in the media sun demonstrates one big thing: almost two years into the pandemic and Australia’s traditional media haven’t learnt much about the perils of a breathless catastrophising. 

Here’s Nine’s The Sun-Herald front page on Sunday yearning for action with: "Borders close as new strain spreads". And on Monday there's News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph turning up the heat with an all-caps front-page screamer: "MUTANT ON MARCH".