From Delta to Omicron - is 2022 the year of hope?

There are many other letters in the Greek alphabet. And we must pray that we do not get to become familiar with them.

The National Covid Memorial Wall
The National Covid Memorial Wall

An introduction to alpha, delta, and omicron is enough, thank you.

Alpha – first seen in Kent, and which drove the second wave. Delta, first identified in India. And now omicron, first noted in South Africa.

As it happens some further mutations have booked their places with other letters in the alphabet, but the above are the big three with which we have mainly had to contend and combat over two of the most trying years in modern British history.

Here we are, with things as bad as ever in terms of infections. Who would have guessed that when the first waves of the pandemic crashed onto these shores in 2020?

And here we are, better than ever in terms of hopes of resuming a more normal existence. It is a paradox which has been created by one of Britain's big successes of the pandemic, the drive for mass vaccination, which has come on top of Britain's world-leading role in developing vaccines in the first place.

Britons who demonstrated such unity and community spirit during the early part of the crisis are now tired and actually a bit irritable too. It has gone on long enough. It has certainly gone on longer than many people, bar perhaps some scientists, had expected.

Holidays have been looked forward to, and then thought better of. Weddings have been planned and postponed, planned and postponed.

The latest manifestation of coronavirus, the omicron variant, has been like a blast wave which has swept across the country. Its rise and spread has been extraordinary. Identified only in late November, it now makes up 99 per cent of Covid cases in the UK, almost totally replacing the delta variant.

This could be a cause for despair, creating the feeling that we are in a never-ending cycle and shall never be free from the grip of Covid. In truth we have been warned of that, that Covid is here to stay and we'll need to learn to live with it.

But perversely it might also be a glimmer of hope that this is the last hurrah of the pandemic, a mercifully milder level of infection which, when it wanes, leaves a society which is more robustly protected against further attacks.

2022 – the year Britain was able to move on at last, and coronavirus, while not leaving us alone, lost much of its sting.

That's my hope, anyway. But then I'm not a scientist. Sorry in advance if I'm wrong.

And if I am wrong, there are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet.

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News