"Beta has followed Alpha and they were joined by Gamma and Delta, too, as WHO-designated Variants of Concern (VoC) of the novel coronavirus. While the world is warily tracking the spread of the Delta variant, or B.1.617.2, which was first identified in India in October last year, India itself is worried about Delta-plus. But the march of variants seemingly continues unabated and experts have in recent days said an eye must be kept on the Kappa and Lambda variants, too, both of which have been labelled as Variants of Interest (VoI) by WHO." In "EXPLAINED: Meet Kappa And Lambda, The Newest Sars-CoV-2 Variants That Experts Are Tracking Closely," by News Desk, New 18 India, 29 June 2021.
M. C. Escher - Ant and Ants
The very ants are coming; be afraid, be very afraid. The variance between the names is how they all parade. The threat is growing greater, one reads these all these days. The variants now all are Greek, alphabetically relayed.
The very ants of yesteryear were mutants too, it's sure, but the news is all the difference, that screaming provocateur. Be afraid, be vary afraid to read between the lines, between the days, the months and years as profit from the pathogens' mines.
The variants now all are Greek or so the names appear, but the deadliest of pathogens is the one that's labeled "fear." Beta follows alpha, then more trot out to play, and all this lettered fodder in the media is played. Alphabetically arrayed, the news spins out the tale, fulsome fearful, fearsome, at yet it's growing stale.
The very ants are coming; be afraid, be very afraid. The variance between the names is how they all parade. Beta has followed Alpha, then Gamma and Delta too, for the parade of fearful things is coming just for you. The picnic's not yet over, for the ants have not well fed upon the world's panic as the very ants daily bread.
"Terror! Horror! Excitement! Mystery!" (1954)
Copyright © 2021 by Gary Bachlund
Addendum of Evolutionary Stress on the Virus: " 'The mass vaccination program, which is happening at the same time as an active outbreak in Israel, may lead to evolutionary stress on the virus,' the report said, noting that 'this situation may cause that mutations offering the virus a certain protection against immunity (whether from the vaccine or disease) will spread significantly among the population, if they appear'." In "IDF Intelligence warns of vaccine-resistant Israeli coronavirus mutation," by staff, Arutz Sheva, 23 January 2021.
Addendum of Gamma - Before Delta: "The gamma variant, on the other hand, is associated with higher hospitalization rates and increased breakthrough infections. The variant, also known as P.1, now accounts for 16% of the cases in Washington state and is the fastest-rising variant in the state...." In "Highly infectious COVID gamma variant worries Washington state health official," by Christine Claridge, Seattle Times, 16 June 2021.
Addendum I of Antsy News - Another Wave: "The Delta variant has inspired another wave of fearmongering from 'experts' like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who recently said it's the biggest threat currently facing the global COVID response. The media has lapped up these warnings, inspiring some local health authorities to revive mask-wearing rules like they just did in LA." In "US COVID Cases Tick Higher As Media Chokes On Dire Delta Variant Warnings," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 29 June 2021.
Addendum II of Antsy News - Dressed Up As Science: "...the Delta variant has a 0.1% case fatality rate (CFR) out of 31,132 Delta sequence infections confirmed by investigators. That is the same rate as the flu and is much lower than the CFR for the ancestral strain or any of the other variants. And as we know, the CFR is always higher than the infection fatality rate (IFR), because many of the mildest and asymptomatic infections go undocumented, while the confirmed cases tend to have a bias toward those who are more evidently symptomatic. In other words, Delta is literally the flu with a CFR identical to it. This is exactly what every respiratory pandemic has done through history: morphed into more transmissible and less virulent form that forces the other mutations out since you get that one. Nothing about masks, lockdowns, or experimental shots did this. To the extent this really is more transmissible, it's going to be less deadly, as is the case with the common cold. To the extent that there are areas below the herd immunity threshold (for example, in Scotland and the northwestern parts of the U.K.) they will likely get the Delta variant (until something else supplants it), but fatalities will continue to go down." In " 'Panic Porn Dressed Up As Science' - Exposing The Truth About The Delta Variant," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 30 June 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News III - All or Nothing: "If you change even one assumption, the CDC's model tips. Using the CDC's own framework of risk and benefit, key differences tip the calculus. First, the comparison doesn't have to be either two doses or no doses. We can also consider just a single dose. Dose two is associated with greater rates of myocarditis, and one dose of an mRNA vaccine has strong protection (over 90% for severe outcomes) -- even against novel variants such as Delta. If you do this, the calculus tips. Second, building on this model, if one assumes rates of myocarditis documented in Israel, accepting the hypothesis that VAERS underestimates risk, it gets even worse. One of us (Wes Pegden, PhD) re-ran the CDC's analysis accounting for this, which shows that second dose vaccination is unfavorable at young ages." In "CDC's All-or-Nothing Approach to Teen COVID Vaccination Is All Wrong," by Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH, Ramin Farzaneh-Far, MD, Wes Pegden, PhD, Venk Murthy, MD, PhD, Amy Beck, MD, MPH, Med Page Today, 29 June 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News IV - Registering: "The Delta variant weighs in at such a low, inconsequential death rate that it becoming the dominant strain (with an actual death rate registering multiple times under that of a seasonal Flu) should actually be celebrated as a relief for humanity, yet the people who want to rule over us like power drunk despots would not benefit from such an admission. Using the word 'deadly' to describe this mutation is simply total propaganda, and a complete assault on our language." In "Follow the science: 'Deadly' Delta variant registers a 99.9+% recovery rate," by Jordan Schachtel, Life Site, 29 June 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News V - Double Whammy Delta: " 'It gives you a double whammy,' said Dr. Lucio Miele, who has been part of the sequencing effort in his lab at LSU Health New Orleans. 'It's a more infectious virus and it's a virus that is not as easily neutralized by antibodies'." In "First case of Delta-plus, 'double-whammy' variant of COVID, detected in Louisiana," by Emily Woodruff, NOLA- Times Picayune, 30 June 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News VI - Epsilon: "One of the three mutations in the Epsilon variant affected the receptor binding domain on the spike glycoprotein. This mutation reduced the neutralizing activity of 14 out of 34 neutralizing antibodies specific to that domain, including clinical stage antibodies. The other two of the three mutations in the variant affected the N-terminal domain on the spike glycoprotein. The researchers used mass spectrometry and structural analysis to find that a part of the coronavirus N-terminal domain was remodeled by these mutations. The signal peptide cleavage site was shifted in the NTD antigenic supersite, and a new disulphide bond was formed. This resulted in a total loss of neutralization by 10 out of 10 antibodies tested specific to the N-terminal domain in the spike glycoprotein." In "Epsilon variant mutations contribute to COVID immune evasion," News release, UW Medicine Newsroom, 2 July 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News VII - Lambda: "Lambda was last month declared a Variant of Interest by the World Health Organization (WHO), which noted that it was 'associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries.' 'Lambda carries a number of mutations' that may have led to 'potential increased transmissibility or possible increased resistance to neutralizing antibodies,' the WHO said." In "Fears arise that Lambda COVID-19 variant from Peru may be resistant to vaccines," by Lee Brown, NY Post, 5 July 2021.
Addendum of Fear-Based Headlines Sounding Scary: "The delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain in the United States, and while that certainly sounds scary, Dr. Monica Gandhi of UCSF has a message for concerned Californians: Don't panic. In this op-ed, Gandhi and medical student Kyle Hunter argue that despite 'new fear-based headlines' and confusing mask guidance, 'the situation in the context of high vaccination rates is totally different'." In "The Daily 07-07-21: Enough with the delta variant panic in California, UCSF doctor urges, MSN/Hearst Newspapers, 7 July 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News VIII - New Variant Names: "Rather, all the big vaccine companies are trying to dial down their corporate names as the Covid-19 shot is rolled out. And if you look closely, there are some secret messages in these new names. ...The various drug companies have therefore been busy dreaming up names that they can slap on their covid shot vials that, at the very least, reduce the prominence of their company brand." In "Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna registering new names for Covid-19 jabs," by Benedoct Brook, News.com.au, 8 July 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News IX - Zeta: "Under the simplified naming scheme proposed by the World Health Organization, P.2 has been labeled Zeta variant', and is considered a variant of interest (VOI), but not yet a variant of concern." In "SARS-CoV-2 Zeta variant," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of Antsy News X: "The strain was first detected in January this year, but it has only now been deemed severe enough to be listed. According to the WHO classification system, variants are determined first to be designated for 'further monitoring,' before being promoted to 'of interest,' and then, finally, 'of concern.' If the newly discovered variant found in Russia is determined to be more serious, it will be given a Greek letter name. As of now, it is simply known as AT.1." In "Moscow Mutation? Siberian Strain? WHO puts Covid-19 variant first discovered in Russia on special list for 'extra monitoring'," by Jonny Tickle, RT News, 9 July 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News XI Times Four: "A team of researchers from two CUNY schools, the New School and the University of Missouri collected samples of sewage from 14 wastewater plants across the five boroughs as part of their study, which was published Thursday. They concluded that there are four new mutations which have scarcely been found in regular testing and seem to be resistant to antibodies – something that could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines." In "Study finds 4 new, possibly antibody-resistant COVID-19 strains in NYC sewage," by Mack Rosenberg, WCBS, 31 July 2021.
Addendum of Adding a Plus: " 'Having additional variants is going to be expected with any virus,' Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of global health and infectious diseases at Stanford University School of Medicine told the local CBS affiliate. 'The fact there's a Delta plus doesn't mean this is going to be any better or worse,' she said. 'At this point, we just don't know'." In "More than 60 cases of new ‘Delta Plus’ variant of COVID are detected in San Francisco which experts fear is MORE transmissible than current strain," by Melissa Koenig, Daily Mail, 6 August 2021. [ 1 ]
Addendum of Breakthrough Antsy News XII: "Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020. Time from diagnosis to PCR negative was 8–33 days (median: 21). Neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination and at diagnosis of the cases were lower than those in the matched uninfected controls. There was no correlation between vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody levels and viral loads or the development of symptoms. Breakthrough Delta variant infections are associated with high viral loads, prolonged PCR positivity, and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies, explaining the transmission between the vaccinated people. Physical distancing measures remain critical to reduce SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant transmission." In "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant Among Vaccinated Healthcare Workers, Vietnam," by OUCRU COVID-19 Research Group, Pre-print lancet, 10 August 2021. [ 2 ]
Addendum of No Specific Test: "Although there is no specific test for the Delta variant, it’s likely a positive Covid-19 result indicates you could be infected with the variant, according to Human and Health Services of Texas. The reason is because the majority of Covid cases in the United States are the Delta variant. In order to specifically check for the Delta variant, a genomic sequencing Covid-19 test is required, which certain labs and local health departments have access to." In "DANGEROUS DELTA How do they test for the Covid-19 Delta variant?" by Julia Elbaba, Sun UK, 5 August 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News XIII: "Mu, known scientifically as B.1.621, has been classified as a 'variant of interest', the global health body said Tuesday in its weekly pandemic bulletin. The WHO said the variant has mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to vaccines and stressed that further studies were needed to better understand it. 'The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,' the bulletin said." In "WHO adds ‘Mu’ strain to list of coronavirus variants of concern," France 24, 1 September 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News XIV: "The B.1.630 variant was first detected in the United States earlier in March of 2021. It does not have variant classification or a Greek alphabet name like the commonly known Delta variant because it accounts for such a small proportion of samples sequenced. It does contain the E484Q mutation, which may help the virus escape the host immune system and lead to infection. Currently, there have only been 79 of these variants sequenced in the U.S., so the predominance is very low." In "PRESS RELEASE - EVT Viral Genomics and Sequencing Lab at LSU Health Shreveport," 13 October 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News for the French: "Un nouveau variant a été identifié dans une école du Finistère, en octobre. 24 personnes, dont 18 élèves, ont été contaminées. La situation est maîtrisée, selon l’ARS Bretagne." In "Covid-19 : un nouveau variant détecté dans une école en Bretagne [Exclusif]," by Nicolas Arzur, Le Télégramme, 11 November 2021.
Addendum of Antsy News XV: "Only 10 cases of the strain, which could be named 'Nu', have been detected so far." In "New Botswana variant with 32 'horrific' mutations is the most evolved Covid strain EVER and could be 'worse than Delta' — as expert says it may have emerged in an HIV patient," by Luke Andrews, Mail Online, 24 November 2021. [ 3 ]
Addendum of a Strain: " 'There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,' Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. The discovery was named 'deltacron' due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, he said." In "Cyprus Finds Covid-19 Infections That Combine Delta and Omicron," by Georgios Georgiou, Bloomberg, 8 January 2022.
Consider an option -- Run for the hills! We're all gonna die!
Reflect on The End
[ 1 ] Comments to news articles sometimes entertain and sometimes illustrate. One was found in the Daily Mail article cited.
"At this point, we just don't know"
By "Completely Average, Somewhere, United States, 7 hours ago," reads: "Who cares how transmissible it is? Prior to Covid, tens of millions of people got infected with the Common Cold and the Flu every single year and nobody went into a panic over it. It's not the number of infections that matter, it's the number of hospitalizations and deaths. And ALL evidence so far shows that this Delta variant may be much more transmissible, but it's also far less dangerous. The UK is about a month ahead of the US in the Delta variant spread, and look at them. Big spike in infections, but only a small bump in deaths. Barely above normal flu levels of deaths. It's time to take a step back and look at where we are now. Yes, the disease is still around, but it's mutated into less dangerous forms. It spreads more, but the number of hospitalizations and deaths are a fraction of what they were a year ago with the original virus running around."
One observes that "Completely Average, Somewhere, United States" does not know, but at the same time one notes that "a professor of global health and infectious diseases" also does not know. Such was the testimony in a news item and comment upon it.
Apparently there are "completely average" individuals who have figured this out, while the media reports and repeats "we just don't know" as grist for those oft public fact checkers who demonstrate their loyalty to the current political power establishment and whose mission is to destroy seemingly powerless Little Miss Information , before she does too much damage.
[ 2 ] One reads: "...78% of infections in fully vaccinated people among the study were caused by variants with these mutations, compared to 48% of the cases among unvaccinated people, who remained an easier target for earlier generations of the virus. Overall, the proportion of cases linked to these variants more than doubled between February and June. The findings add to a growing list of studies that are unraveling why the vaccinated are still so susceptible to infection — and provide a deeper understanding of what we may encounter in the future." In "New UCSF study: Vaccine-resistant viruses are driving 'breakthrough' COVID infections -'As long as the virus continues to circulate, it will continue to mutate'," by Lisa M/ Krieger, Bay Area News Group, 27 August 2021.
One notes the first statement; a comparison between the fully vaccinated and the unvaccinated seems to show the unvaccinated at less risk. Hmm. Then at the very best, all the talking heads and public voices may be well understood to be saying, as above, "at this point, we just don't know."
[ 3 ] Additionally antsy: "The world shut itself off from Southern Africa today in response to a super mutant variant that was unheard of just days ago. B.1.1.529 — which has now been named Omicron— was first picked up in Hong Kong on Monday in a patient who had travelled from South Africa." In "From discovery to global panic in 48 hours: How South African scientists' warnings about soaring cases of Covid super-mutant variant sparked frantic cabinet meeting and worldwide travel ban," by Joe Davies, Mail Online, 26 November 2021.
The naming of variants using Greeks letters skipped the letter "xi." Sensitivity to the name Xi Ping?