Delta variant — What is in the name?
I am not sure what is in the name delta for this deadly and highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 to have been so christened. I wondered and did not spare a minute to look up the dictionary meaning of the word.
According to Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus, “delta” is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet. But carrying same name as the third COVID-19 variant, I was still curious to know and so I looked for another meaning.
It is apparently the flat area at the mouth of some rivers where the mainstream splits up into several branches. Interesting.
So if there is something in a name, then the rapidly spreading COVID-19 variant christened Delta, and which has invaded our space, to me, is living up to its name, coming from the mainstream, COVID-19.
The variant, supposedly being a branch of COVID-19, must definitely be one of several branches of the virus. So are we forewarned of other branches to be expected once Delta fades out?
This new variant has really sprung a surprise on us, a time when the feeling was that things were gradually coming back to the old normal. We were actually cruising back to a stable altitude.
Schools were adjusting, churches were filling up, social activities had picked up and some semblance of confidence had returned in one’s daily use of public transport and even flying.
The forceful nature of the Delta variant is forcing everyone to begin to retreat. Experts tell us the variant spreads fast with a highly infectious nature. No wonder the alarming rate of infections in the last few days.
Now more than ever before, no one can run away from the fact that the ball is squarely in our own court.
We can never contain the spread of the virus in our communities, workplaces and educational institutions if we are going to behave like the ostrich and think that the coronavirus will vanish into thin air without us adhering to every single protocol.
We are still not wearing face masks in public places. It is so disappointing to see even those who should know better refusing to wear the mask in public arena.
Veronica buckets have been neatly tucked away and social distancing is no longer of priority concern.
A lot depends on us if we should bring down the infection rate. The point needs to be emphasised at every given opportunity.
A passionate appeal may be made to the government to begin to bring back some of the enforcements and regular police checks we had in place when we had the second wave.
Wearing of face masks must be forcefully enforced at all points and those who flout it should be punished as a deterrent.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) this week released the fast climb of the country’s infection rates. It is alarming to note that in just a matter of eleven days, the country’s active cases went uphill from 1,982 to 3,124.
In the same few days, the number of the dead crossed the 800 mark. What can one do to bring the rates down?
Can this Delta branch or any other branches yet to be seen really pass us by? Yes, if only we could live strictly by the protocol.
We all should know by now that coronavirus and all its variants will not leave us alone for some time to come.
Rather, we should see it perhaps like a malaria parasite which has lived with us since time immemorial and rather protect ourselves as we do with mosquito bites.
If no one would go outside at night without much protection and expose him/herself to mosquito bites, why would anyone take off his/her face mask and expose him/herself to the deadly coronavirus?
This third wave is said to be deadlier than the second wave which regrettably, swept away one’s most loved friends and relations.
We are being reminded that a fourth wave may be a more nuisance variant than the third from the stages one is seeing unfolding.
It is time to wear our face masks in layers. It is time to wash our hands until the skin begins to beg.
It is indeed time to sanitise our hands like no other and stop touching our faces.
There may not be any coronavirus repellents and until the vaccines come and we hit herd immunity, there surely is a way to send the virus into remission. That much education, we know.
Let us prepare adequately to disembark and abandon the branch called Delta. The power is squarely in our hands.