Hmmm. Interesting way to look at it. There is no doubt they are very strange things. Yet they do mutate into new types don’t they? I am thinking of the new strains of flu viruses and their like.
Yes, flu viruses mutate their protein coat, which (temporarily) defeats the immune response that is geared to a particular type of protein. But what is described in this article is a more significant alteration, picking up a whole new capability.