When it comes to the covid pandemic, it’s us against the mutants.
Way back in January, the Centers for Disease Control predicted that a covid mutation, Britain’s B.1.1.7. variant, would soon be the dominant strain of the virus in the USA. The prediction sounded absurd. It sounded laughable. There were just 76 cases of the British variant in the entire United States. But on April 7th, only 2 and a half months later, the head of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, announced that the prediction has already come true. The B.1.1.7. British mutant is now the leading covid infector in the USA.
What’s more, new research has just revealed that the B.1.1.7. variant is 50% more infections than the coronavirus we’ve been battling for the last year. That’s wickedly infectious. It means that the British mutation is hitting young people and spreading at day care centers and at kids’ sporting matches. It means the British variant is killing people in their forties and fifties. And it may mean that sending your kids to school is no longer safe.
But B.1.1.7. is not the only virus mutant in the rapidly-growing covid mutant zoo. There are at least five others on the list.
First is the Brazilian strain. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro mocks masking and encourages his citizens to protest in the street against lockdowns. The covid virus is taking advantage of this Brazilian surrender. Brazil now tops the world in covid fatalities with 4,200 covid deaths a day, a figure only one nation has ever topped—the United States.
Worse, leading the covid charge in Brazil is a unique covid mutation, the P.1. covid variant. And that Brazilian mutation is spreading rapidly to other countries in South America like Paraguay and Uruguay, which are both experiencing what the BBC calls “record numbers of daily deaths.” Even worse, the Brazilian P.1. covid mutant has jumped to North America, where it has gained a firm foothold in the country with which we share a 5,525 mile long border, Canada. Which means we are wide open to the Brazilian mutants’ attack.
There were 289 cases of the Brazilian P.1. covid variant in the usa as of April 6th. But if the Brazilian mutant follows the path of the British variant, it could soon rip through the American population. And that’s not all.
The covid variation with really big potential is called the double mutant. The double mutant coronavirus seems to have gotten its start in India, but is now kicking up its heels in San Francisco. It’s called a double mutant because it has borrowed two new tools for prying its way into your cells and mine. It has borrowed one crowbar from the Brazilian and South African variants, and another lever from a mutant that has sprung up in California. To quote USA Today, the double mutant “is believed to be more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19, but it is not yet known if it is more resistant to vaccines.”
Then there’s a mutation that has arisen in New York City called B.1.526. And there’s a Columbus, Ohio mutant known as the Midwest variant. But the bottom line is this. The more we give the covid viruses our bodies to use as test tubes, the more chances we give the covid coronavirus to come up with innovations. Innovations that can kill us.
Which means, as Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends, wear a mask and keep wearing it until “the level of infection in the community is extremely low,” And keep social distancing, avoiding crowds and crowded places like restaurants and sports stadiums. You don’t want to turn your body into a laboratory flask for the covid virus. Or do you?