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Delta Variant – The COVID Sequel

(American Thinker) Most successful movies try to cash in on their box office bonanza with a sequel. Some do this well, like The Godfather, with both original and sequel winning best picture. Others simply get old and tiresome, like the Star Wars or Halloween franchises.

COVID is no exception, after a wildly successful debut year. Success, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. For those who died or are suffering long haul symptoms, it was a disaster. Same for owners of closed businesses, those still out of work, and individuals and their families dealing with the aftershocks of depression, substance abuse, and a host of other mental health issues.

It was successful for those willing do absolutely anything to get rid of President Trump as well as for those standing to gain financially by destroying small businesses, creating a multi-billion-dollar COVID vaccine industry, or bowing to their Chinese and social media paymasters.

The COVID sequel is called the “Delta Variant,” a predictable mutation of the original Chinese coronavirus as it passes through hosts, replicating, and moving on to another host. From an article in Nature Microbiology,

Mutation. The word naturally conjures fears of unexpected and freakish changes. Ill-informed discussions of mutations thrive during virus outbreaks, including the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. In reality, mutations are a natural part of the virus life cycle and rarely impact outbreaks dramatically.

Mutations can also make a virus either more or less virulent. A common idea is that virulence will only change — either upwards or downwards — if it increases the transmission rate of the virus, which effectively means an increase in the number of virus ‘offspring’. However, high virulence may (although by no means always) reduce transmissibility if the host is too sick to expose others.

Mutation is an inevitable consequence of being a virus.

In other words, viral variants and mutations are normal and expected, typically more contagious and less deadly. Is the Delta variant simply normal evolution of the Wuhan virus or is it an apocalyptic doomsday event worthy of a science fiction movie, a repeat of last year?

Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, representing the fourth notable COVID variant. As the virus mutates constantly while infecting an individual, not every mutation is named and recorded. Those worthy of a Greek letter are “variants of concern,” according to the CDC, although they too note that “viruses constantly change through mutation.”

Delta also means “change” and perhaps the name indicates that it is time for a change in narrative of the entire COVID saga. Vaccinations have plateaued, despite all sorts of carrot and stick measures to “push the poke.”  Hospitalizations and deaths are down, although it is challenging to trust the numbers based on changing definitions of causation and association.

Using Greek letters avoids the now racist concept of naming viruses over their point of origin or first identification, as in Ebola, Marburg, West Nile, and so on. While this was perfectly normal a few years ago, using locations like Wuhan, India, or South Africa are now somehow racist. But then again, so are space and math racist, according to the self-proclaimed arbiters of woke.