A rollercoaster year of varying variants

Nasty bug: COVID-19 and its variants threaten both lives and livelihoods
Nasty bug: COVID-19 and its variants threaten both lives and livelihoods

A year that began with rising cases and deaths associated with the 2020 festive season, is again ending with growing cases, but fortunately, for now, no escalating deaths. In between that period, Batswana have had to endure three COVID-19 variants, each more menacing than the one before and each associated with an upsurge of cases.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) decided last year that to limit discrimination against countries that discover variants, new strains would be given names from the Greek alphabet as opposed to being called ‘the Botswana variant’, for example. Only strains that are classified as ‘variants of concern’ are assigned the Greek names.

Scientists say viruses mutate to survive. As they replicate themselves in their hosts, the copies of themselves they make often have ‘mistakes’ or mutations. If a mutation provides to be a survival advantage, then that mutated version becomes the dominant strain within a population. Some of these mutations make the virus more transmissible and deadly, others weaken it.

Editor's Comment
Tighten the law on drug dealers

Our youth are perishing; their once hopeful bright future is going down the drain; all because of illicit drugs.It is very easy to blame the addict, but it is not as simple as that! Drug dealing is a very lucrative business for some shameless people amongst our society and as such they have come up with tight strategies on how to push their business.Drug addiction is bad, and while the individual on drugs sometimes might have been the one who...

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