Why It’s Important for You to Acquaint Yourself with the Greek Alphabet

It depends on whether the world can win the race against the Covid-19 variants

Caroline de Braganza
5 min readJul 18, 2021


(Image by Dimitri Velsikas from Pixabay)

The virus is an opportunistic little devil and highly adaptable to changing circumstances.

Bile rose in my throat when a recent newsletter from a publication asked contributors not to write any more “Yawn — pandemic stories.”

That’s well and good if you live in a country where even a 12-year-old can receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

In South Africa we’re suffering from vaccine FOMO. While entire sections of the world are opening up, here we have thousands still dying from Covid-19 in the devastating third wave.

And who knows how many more after the recent riots and looting in two provinces? The destruction has created shortages of food, people cannot access chronic medication, and many vaccination sites have been closed.

In addition, a total alcohol ban and 9 pm curfew since June 28 is playing havoc with our mental health.

“The age of globalised media means that we have constant access to visuals and stories of people getting vaccinated and going back to some semblance of their ‘normal’ pre-pandemic lives, while we continue to languish in our Covid-riddled reality.” — Emma Dollery, Maverick Life.

Why the Greek alphabet?

Last month the World Health Organisation (WHO) renamed the Covid-19 variants according to letters of the Greek alphabet, to end the prejudice which arose from naming the country of origin.

Current variants of concern are:

  • Alpha (formerly UK variant B1.1.7)
  • Beta (formerly SA variant B.1.352)
  • Gamma (formerly Brazil variant P.1)
  • Delta (formerly Indian variant B.1.617)

The Delta variant, 30%-60% more infectious and transmissible than earlier variants, now dominates our third wave — the highest daily cases we’ve ever experienced. The number of active cases has more than doubled.

With only 3% of the population vaccinated, we’ll reach herd immunity in 10 years based on the…



Caroline de Braganza

Wise Older Woman (WOW). Poetry, essays, humor. Passion for mental health, social justice, politics, diverse cultures, the world and environment.