It isn’t contagious. This problem passed quickly, I think. I didn’t run into it, so it is hard for me to know. But, it revealed another part of how the Second Life™ system works.
Backend Serve updates – there are a number of backend services needed to support Second Life. When the Lab is changing/updating them they generally provide no public notice, unless users need to change behavior, like refrain from transactions or rezzing no-copy items (which hopefully is changing).
So, occasionally the server side will change, even when there is no roll to the main or RC server software channels. Most changes pass unnoticed.
Backend changes are generally not supposed to be noticeable. May be better performance or a problem disappears, but nothing as noticeable as a new feature in the viewer.
This last week there was a noticeable change: Zombie Eyes. Some Firestorm users suddenly had what is being called zombie-eyes. I think it depended on which region you were in, but I’m guessing on this point. Because a new release of FS was out people were assuming the new version was the cause of zombie-eyes. It wasn’t, but that FS was the apparent change, it was reasonable to consider that…. consider… not decide, that FS had to be the problem. In this case it was a backend service that changed about the same time as the FS release that was at fault.
There is no plan to announce these backend changes as they only have meaning to people in operations, Lindens running the servers. So, if each of those changes were announced many people would be jumping to conclusions, like some FS users did in blaming the viewer for zombie-eyes.
The Lindens believe there are less benefits and more negatives from reporting backend changes that typically will be non-events for users. So, not announcing backend changes isn’t going to change.