Alpha, Delta and Lambda. When I was in college those Greek letters meant that on Thursday you had to put on your drinking shoes because it was going to be a rough weekend at the frat house. They have a whole other meaning in today’s world.

Just like the naming of hurricanes, the coronavirus variants are also being named. Hurricane names start with the letter A and continue. The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used so there are usually only 21 named hurricanes in a season. If there are more then 21 hurricanes, the names start with the first letter of the Greek alphabet — Alpha, Beta and so on. Some names are retired like Katrina because of the devastation.

The COVID variants are being named after the Greek alphabet, but it doesn’t appear to be in a specific order. According to the World Health Organization, one of the reasons why the Greek letters are being used is because they are simple and easy to remember.

We can’t predict where the next variant is coming from and we have no way of knowing what to do next. Other countries should be held accountable for immediately reporting any variant they detect. Then a determination should be made to impose any travel bans. Each country should keep their plagues to themselves.

Right now, the WHO has determined Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda as “variants of interest.” They are tracking 13 other variants as well in the US, Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Columbia and other countries.

While the Delta is wreaking havoc now, Lambda is apparently worse. With Delta, people who have had COVID and are fully vaccinated have a better chance of survival if they get the Delta. A hospital in Houston reported the first case of the Lambda variant just this past week.

Now, we are hearing that fully vaccinated people who had Moderna or Pfizer are supposed to get a third booster eight months after they received their second booster. No determinations have been made yet on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine yet.

The CDC says that many vaccines lose their protection abilities over time but the additional booster may provide long-lasting protection against the virus. They say that while protection decreases over time, they are recommending a third booster to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong the vaccines durability.

We know that the vaccines are not 100 percent effective and some people who are vaccinated are getting sick, but it also appears those vaccinated people who are getting sick are less likely to have severe results, which I guess is why a third booster is recommend. The CDC also says it’s highly recommended for people of higher risk.

This virus is unlike anything we have ever seen, but be thankful that there are many people watching and recording the data so valued recommendations can be made.

The fact is people are getting sick and no one really can predict what’s next. Good thing there are only 24 letters in the Greek alphabet.

Thanks for reading the Floyd County Chronicle and Times.

Recommended for you