Covid-19 mutant is a “ticking time bomb”

   “Viruses mutate all the time, often with no impact, but this one … spreads more easily.” And even though it doesn’t “throw off vaccine efficacy or cause more severe disease,” that makes it “a potential catastrophe.”

   That’s because, “given the stage in the pandemic we are at, a more transmissible variant is in some ways much more dangerous” because it could mean an “exponential growth” in numbers of infected persons, whereas a more severe variation of the disease affects “only those infected.”

   An article in the Atlantic published on December 31, 2020 (read it here), says, “Increased transmissibility can wreak havoc in a very, very short time—especially when we already have uncontrolled spread in much of the United States. The short-term implications of all this are significant, and worthy of attention, even as we await more clarity from data.”

   So the writer argues, “we should act quickly … relaxing restrictions will be easier than undoing the damage done by not having reacted in time.”But haven’t we already seen that movie? Good luck with that.
   She then delves into the mathematics of risk assessment, which I’m pretty sure won’t keep college-age youths out of bars or persuade anti-maskers to put down their guns. They’re just gonna have to get sick and die.
   I’m a lawyer, not a doctor or scientist, and I have zero credentials to be writing about virus mutations, so what follows is just curious musings on my part. I’ve read in the news that this Covid-19 mutation jumped from Europe to Britain, presumably across the fairly narrow English Channel, which is crossed by planes, boats, and trains every day (yes, trains, too; don’t believe me? read this), but now it’s showing up in Americans who haven’t traveled abroad. How can that be?
   I have a suspicion that this Covid-19 mutation wasn’t imported, but rather, the standard Covid-19 virus mutated domestically. After all, it did in Europe, or wherever it first started, so why couldn’t it also mutate here? For that matter, how do we know the U.K. mutation came from somewhere else, as opposed to being produced by the virus already in the U.K.? Why couldn’t the Covid-19 similarly mutate in lots of places, all at the same time?
   But does it even matter where it came from? Living in a country with a death wish, it gives folks something to chat about over drinks in crowded and poorly ventilated bars after ripping off their face coverings after they tire of complaining about public health officials trying to keep them alive.
   Photo: Partying in a Florida bar, oblivious to Covid-19, November 2020 (story here)

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