RICHARD ORD: Covid variants! It's all Greek to me

Omicron Variant! Sounds like a prog rock synth band circa 1982.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:00 am
Up next, the Optimus Prime Variant!

Or, as I suggested to my better half when she asked why they’d stopped naming the Covid variants after Greek letters, “they’ve moved onto the Transformers.”

“The Optimus Prime Variant will be heading our way next,” I told her. My how we laughed.

Thing is, they haven’t stopped naming the Covid variants after Greek letters, I’m just ignorant.

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Omicron, as I discovered after Googling ‘why have they stopped using Greek letters for Covid variants’ is a Greek letter.

To be fair, I don’t remember Greek studies being on the syllabus during my days as Mortimer Comprehensive in the late 70s. And, even if it was, I suspect excelling in the subject would make you a target for the bullies. Learning the Greek alphabet would almost certainly result in a Chinese burn behind the bike sheds.

Which is a pity, since being well-versed in Greek mythology is pretty handy if you intend to pursue a career in running the country. It could earn you a wedgie at Mortimer Comp, but it didn’t do our current Prime Minister, Boris Johston, any harm. He’s always dropping Greek gods into the mix. At a recent UN General Assembly on climate change he hinted at changing his name to that of Boreas, the Greek god of the North Wind, because of the UK’s record on wind turbine creation. I don’t know about turbines, but he certainly got the wind bit right. He’s full of it.

Anyway, I reckon they should dump the Greek letters and, like the storms, start naming them after people.

But not the uncommon, sometimes highfalutin names that the weather boffins use, Storm Arwen being a case in point, but those names falling out of favour with the new generation of parents. I’m thinking Darren, Derek and Trevor.

They’ve appeared as storms, why not germs too? The names are no longer popular so lets hammer the final nail in with the Kevin variant forcing people into lockdown? Give the names one last hurrah, before they disappear forever.

(*The German knew they were Greek, she just couldn’t understand why they weren’t going in order. She thinks knowing the Greek alphabet is important, me? I don’t care one iota).