Omicron? Why not Epsilon?

Aren’t the variants named for consecutive letters in the Greek alphabet? If so, shouldn’t Epsilon be the next variant, after Delta?

I thought they are used consecutively, just those other variants have not proven to be much of a threat.

The Epsilon variant was first detected in July of last year and is no longer considered to be of concern.

There was an Epsilon variant, it just didn’t turn out to have all that significant an impact. The next in line for the alphabet was in fact Nu, but that was skipped due to it sounding too much like “new”, and then Xi, which was skipped because it is too common a surname in Asia, so they went with Omicron. There will be more variants to come.

But was it greater than zero? [/math joke]

That’s sort of BS. Xi isn’t that common a surname in China (this is the BS explanation used by the WHO…it’s the 708th most common surname, or .01% of the population according to Google :stuck_out_tongue: ), and other Greek alphabet characters are common surnames (wrt pronunciation) in other countries, yet that hasn’t stopped their use. The real reason they skipped Xi is pretty obvious if you simply look at what the current presitator for life in China’s name is…

I did know that, but I also wasn’t going to say it.

I figured you did. I wasn’t busting on you, but the WHO bullshit on this really annoys me. Xi isn’t a common surname in China or anywhere else, and the fact they trotted that out kind of shows where they are at wrt toeing the line with what the CCP demands.

To be fair, it’s already had to weather racists calling it the Chinese Virus. I think it was a reasonable decision, but drawing attention to those specific reasons is more explanation than it needs.

I disagree, but that’s fine. I think the whole ‘Chinese Virus’ was along a similar vein, IOW, it wasn’t racist. It became a thing because, again, the CCP didn’t like it and MADE it about racism.

But I’ll leave it there. :slight_smile: I think the OPs question has been answered at this point.

…IMHO, it was.

That’s fine, but I’m guessing you don’t feel that way across the board. I’m betting you had no problem when diseases were called by a countries name or region. And this didn’t start with ‘Chinese Virus’…it started by calling it the Wuhan Virus and THAT being called out for racism.

Now, if you want to make the case that many of those (I’m thinking, oh, say Trump) saying ‘Chinese Virus’ was a pretty blatantly racist thing, sure…I agree. I think with Trump it was more than just racism, as I think it was also a deliberate troll, but racism was certainly an aspect. But the CCP weaponized this entire naming thing (and this, after their state run media ALSO called it the Wuhan virus initially) and played it off as racist…then turned around and called different variants after countries or regions where they popped up.

The 708th most common surname in the US is “Clay”. Do you suppose it’d be acceptable to name a deadly virus “the Clay variant”?

…you would be betting wrong. Unbelievably, incredibly wrong.

Which Greek character is the ‘Clay’ character? I’m not familiar with that one. But, sure…why wouldn’t I be ok with that?

If you say so.

Just wait until you hear about the XT variant, then. That one’s a real doozy.

Yeah, I’d draw the line at that! :slight_smile:

The next Greek letter after omicron is … pi. Pi is a celebrity among Greek letters. There’s books written and videos made about it. It circulates in elite … ah… circles. You think it’s going to stand for them naming some dangerous disease after it? No way! Pi’s probably got its lobbyists working hard to convince TPTB to skip it too. So I predict the next Variant of Concern (or whatever the terminology for named variants is) will be rho.

What became of the Zeta, Eta, and Theta variants? (Those letters are all early in the Greek alphabet.)

Very, very slightly.

I agree with you about avoiding ‘Xi’ being political, but regarding “Chinese Virus” or “China virus” there was no doubt a racist angle there as it was much the same people who then moved on to saying “Kung flu” and all that other crap.

Besides, the rule about not naming viruses for places of course pre-dates Covid.

The Republicans in particular doubled-down on “Wuhan Virus” and such partly to thumb their noses at the WHO, partly to deflect all blame elsewhere and not on any of the US handling, and partly because racism is their brand.