From Alpha to Delta, the alphabet of fear. All the times we cried “wolf”

From Alpha to Delta, the alphabet of fear. All the times we cried “wolf”
From Alpha to Delta, the alphabet of fear. All the times we cried “wolf”

One spends his entire life wondering why he made the classic, then a cabbage of virus arrives and suddenly he understands the reason: those four notions of Greek in the cross, including that abstruse alphabet from which the names of the variants of Sars-Cov2 are drawn that shake you almost as much as a version of Democritus.

Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, then a leap to omicron (passing through the minor epsilon, eta, kappa and lambda, and jumping for various reasons nu or ni and xi). All our fears in alphabetical order. Because every time a variant of the Coronavirus spreads, with its paraphernalia of mutations of the genetic code, it brings with it the fear of the groundhog: that of starting all over again without ever getting out of it. Will it be more transmissible? Will it cause more severe forms of the disease? Will it make marameo to the vaccine so painstakingly obtained? Legitimate questions, to which science has given cautious answers. But in the end, a year and a half and a half past the beginning of the pandemic, we must recognize two things: 1) we have not yet gotten out of it; 2) we are still almost all alive to discuss it. This means that each new variant has upped the ante, but we have been able to respond, thanks essentially to the resource of vaccines that too many show to snub. This is why on 28 November 2020 there were 686 deaths and yesterday 47, and 3,762 intensive care places occupied and yesterday 638.

There are four main variants of Sars-Cov2 defined by the ECDC as “variants of concern” and therefore more dangerous. The first variant, Alpha (scientific name B.1.1.7) was isolated in September 2020 in Great Britain, although the first case in Europe occurred on November 9, 2020. It was not a small bugbear: the vaccines were not yet widespread and we were very frightened by this twist with 23 mutations compared to the original strain and which infected with much greater efficiency than the basic Sars-Cov2, up to 70 percent more. A study showed that in January the cases of infections doubled every ten days due to the English variant, which in the meantime is almost a memory.

It came after the Beta variant (Ba351) which came from South Africa as the Omicron. It looked like a black beast, not only because it was supercontagious like Alpha, but also because it was apparently more resistant to vaccines. But in the end that too was faced albeit with some losses. Then it was the turn of the Gamma, the Brazilian variant even if isolated in Japan. This too proved to be more transmissible but no more bad in terms of consequences. Finally, the Delta, the one with which we find ourselves fighting today mainly (B.1.167.2) isolated for the first time in India, and the most dangerous of the bunch at least so far: it is even more contagious and causes new symptoms such as stomach pain and articolar pains. Always new adversaries, which suggest a very long war. For this better not to waste ammunition.

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Alpha Delta alphabet fear times cried wolf

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