It's probably to be expected, but the World Health Organization decided not to go with the most fun angle when renaming the COVID-19 strains.
Heads up, they have not renamed them by the only things we remember from lockdown; there are no sourdough or boredom tears strains.
The re-labelling decision follows criticism of the way they have been named up until now. The variants have either been titled by their scientific name, making them hard to differentiate, or by their country of origin -- the latter being the reason of most concern as critics argue this could stigmatize countries where variants are first discovered.
This has already been seen in attacks against Chinese people, and increased coverage of the so-called Indian variety as it spreads could feed hatred towards Indian people.
The scientific names which look like; B.1.1.7, B.1.617.2, B.1.351 were simply considered too difficult to recall or tell apart – it does look like the script from a futuristic episode of Banana in Pajamas.
Following months of deliberations, WHO decided to use the Greek Alphabet system and have renamed the variants as follows:
• Kent / B.1.1.7 - Alpha
• South Africa / B.1.351 - Beta
• Brazil / P.1 - Gamma
• India / B.1.617.2 - Delta
• US / B.1.427 / B.1.429 - Epsilon
• Philippines / P.3 - Theta
Main image: Pixabay