If you're a fan of Teen Mom 2, then you've probably heard the news by now:
Chelsea Houska has quit the show that made her famous, and she's already finished filming her final episodes.
It's a move that's sure to permanently alter the tone of the long-running series.
By most metrics, Chelsea is the most popular star of the Teen Mom franchise, and the decision to step away from her lucrative career as a reality star has left many fans baffled.
The most widely-accepted explanation is that Chelsea quit because of her eldest daughter, Aubree.
Insiders say she had always planned to leave TM2 before Aubree reached her teen years.
Chelsea may have resigned slightly earlier than expected due to claims that Aubree was being exploited by producers who insisted on featuring her tumultuous relationship with her father on the show.
Now, however, a new theory has emerged regarding Chelsea's seemingly sudden decision to step away.
And unlike most rumors concerning Mrs. Houska-DeBoer, this one originated with Chelsea herself.
“Next week on #TeenMom2..I wanna hear from some mamas. If your littles (mainly 2&3 year old) were afraid of getting the covid nasal swab test… Would you be okay with testing them 3 times a week?!” Chelsea tweeted earlier this week.
“This was an issue that came up during filming for us!”
Several fans took this as Chelsea's way of saying that she quit the show as a result of required daily Covid testing.
“No, I would quit too. You made the right choice mama," one person replied.
"I will miss you on the show, hopefully, you will be back soon! I love watching your little family.
Chelsea was clearly flattered by the comment, but she took pains to point out that Covid testing was not her reason for parting ways with MTV.
“Thank you! But want to make clear that is not what led us to the decision to step away from the show!” she tweeted.
“Just went back to self-shooting the remainder of the season.”
So clearly there was en easy fix in Chelsea's case.
We're sure MTV would have happily allowed Chelsea to self-shoot for as long as she wanted, if it meant that she would stick with the show.
This is not the first time that Covid testing created problems during the most recent season.
Briana DeJesus threatened to quit TM2, as she objected to the production staff's stringent requirements regarding Covid testing.
(Specifically, Briana's new boyfriend refused to be tested, and the crew put a halt on filming until he complied.)
MTV has already found a replacement for Chelsea in Ashley Jones, and it seems to be a move that fans are happy with.
That said, Chelsea is the sort of fan favorite that doesn't come along very often, and it will be impossible to truly replace her.
So it makes sense that fans are grasping for reasons that might concretely explain her decision to walk away.
But it seems that, in the end, the DeBoers simply decided it was time for their family to begin a new chapter.
We wish them all the best.