Covid-19 and the different variants, including alpha, beta, gamma and delta.

COVID-19 Delta Variant

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Updated Aug 10, 2021 at 03:32PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 04, 2021 at 04:49PM EDT by Brandon.

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Overview

COVID-19 Delta Variant refers to the Delta variant of the coronavirus mutation that health officials suggest may be more contagious or deadly than the original strain. Originally, strains were just named after the location of the first discovery, such as the "UK strain," but this nomenclature idea fell off and was instead swapped for naming mutations after letters in the Greek alphabet. The most current COVID-19 variant, Delta Plus, is the offshoot of an earlier variant, COVID-19 Delta. Most of the memes relating to Delta Plus revolve around it sounding like a subscription service, such as Disney+. There are several other COVID-19 variants, but the Delta is the most commonly discussed online in memes.

Background

According to the World Health Organization,[1] the earliest documented samples of variants to COVID-19 date back to September and May 2020, although it wasn't until December 18th, 2020, that they were given official designations. A chart of this information, as well as info on the other two confirmed variants of COVID-19, is available on the WHO website (shown below, click to enlarge).



The first variants discovered came from South Africa and the United Kingdom, with the public unaware of how it would react to the vaccines in production, as well as herd immunity discussions. Since the first wave of variants that have happened, primarily the Delta variant, additional strains began to develop over the following year, with Lambda, Long and Delta Plus being prominent ones in the media or online discourse.

Online Reactions

Since the beginning of the variants' appearance, there have been memes made about them across a wide range of sites and platforms. The UK variant, which became the Delta variant, had many memes made about it, mostly relating to its supposed increased lethality compared to the standard-tier COVID-19 virus. This can be seen in a meme posted to the website Funvizeo[2] by user Flynn, which shows the Queen of England holding a reverse UNO card next to a news report of China contracting the UK variant (shown below).


CNN CNN Philippines Phlipoines @cnnphilippines JUST IN: China confirms first case of UK Covid-19 variant in country. The patient – a 23-year-old female returned to Shanghai from Britain on Dec. 14. | via @CNN

On December 31st, 2020, the Redditor Josi13[3] posted a meme of Bane from Dark Knight Rises standing in opposition to Pink Guy with the object labeling comparing the UK strain to the original coronavirus (shown below).


UK COVID-19 VARIANT CORONAVIRUS VACCINES imgflip.com

Delta Plus Variant Reactions

Since the initial launch of the Delta variant, things have been steadily increasing as COVID-19 cases began to rise again in mid-2021. While cases were rising and some cities were beginning to reclose, news came out that there was another variant of Delta that health officials warned could be far more dangerous than others, called Delta Plus.

This Delta Plus strain ended up being widely discussed online, often with themes of hopelessness, as many on social media, such as Twitter, started to tweet about this news in mid-2021. On August 3rd, Twitter[4] user @ChrisKlemens tweeted the observation that the COVID-19 virus has more remixes than "Old Town Road", a song known for re-releasing with various remixes as more musical features were added or removed. The tweet received 33,000 likes and 3,300 retweets in one week (shown below).


CHRIS KLEMENS @ChrisKlemens DELTA PLUS?!? Why does Covid have more remixes than Old Town Road. 11:58 PM · Aug 3, 2021 26.7K 4 See the latest COVID-19 information on Twitter

On the topic of the variants spreading, there is a growing resentment towards various events that seem to be able to happen while others can't. An example of this frustration was tweeted[5] out by @TrashKing_01 on August 8th, 2021, in which they talk about how anime conventions and other niche events have heavy COVID restrictions on them while events like Rolling Loud in Florida had no restrictions at all (shown below).


Us nerds are working overtime to stop this s--- from mutating into Delta Plus Ultra Anime/Comic cons with heavy COVID restrictions Sports bais ad normie events with no restrictions 5:42 PM · Aug 8, 2021 - Twitter for Android

Various Examples


1/2 2/2 And if you think I'm evil, well, Just wait till you meet my variants. My vaccinated ass dodging Covid, Delta, Delta Plus & all the other variants od000 So when do I get to stop worrying about Covid? Covid Delta Variant That's the neat part. You don't. damn there's too many streaming services..first peacock now delta plus????? yall doing too much Delta+ Pfizer data suggest third dose of Covid-19 vaccine 'strongly' boosts protection against Delta variant Triples makes it safe. Triples is best. The Delta variant CCorona Extra

Search Interest

External Resources

[1] WHO – COVID-19 Variant Chart

[2] Funvizeo – Flynn

[3] Reddit – CoronaVirusMemes

[4] Twitter – ChrisKLemens

[5] Twitter – Trashking

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