Will Coronavirus Variants Knock Us Back to Square One?

The optimist says the U.S. is experiencing only one-third as many new daily cases of the coronavirus as it was two months ago.

The pessimist says the opening of businesses, lifting of restrictions and new virus variants will cause another surge.

The realist says 60,000 new cases per day in America are still far too many. A vast majority of people are taking precautions. Including mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand washing. Millions are getting vaccinated.

But the more-contagious virus variants are causing considerable concern. More on these variants in a moment.

Numbers Go Down, Restrictions Lift, Numbers Go Up

We seem to be in a vicious circle. Every time the numbers go down, society opens up more and restrictions are lifted. And then numbers go up again.

National, state and local officials are faced with the same old problem. They’re trying to balance the safety of individuals with the need for businesses to operate. And people to keep their jobs.

The pandemic has been around for more than a year now. But scientists are still learning new things about the coronavirus. In response, health officials are modifying guidelines.

Here are two examples. The CDC now says vaccinated Americans may gather indoors in small groups without precautions. But they should still wear facemasks in public. And vaccinated grandparents can visit with healthy, unvaccinated grandchildren.

Mask Mandates Dwindling

New case numbers are down from their peak. And about 2 million people are being vaccinated daily. So, a number of states lifted their mask mandates recently. They include Wyoming, Texas, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana and North Dakota.

Eleven other states never had mask mandates. They are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Idaho. Plus Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. And South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Some believe this is a dangerous precedent. Scientists don’t yet understand whether or how immunized people can transmit the virus. Or how long vaccine protection might last.  

And here’s perhaps the biggest question of all. Will vaccines formulated for the “original” coronavirus be effective against variants?

Identifying the Variants

So, what are these variants and why are they so troublesome? Currently there are five coronavirus variants causing the most concern.

One is B.1.351, believed to have originated in South Africa. Another is B.1.1.7, also called the UK variant. A third is P.1, first identified in Brazil. The fourth is L452R, first seen in California. The fifth, discovered in New York City, is B.1.526.

The first two cases of the B.1.351 variant in the U.S. were identified in South Carolina. They were found in different parts of the state. Earlier, Minnesota identified the first U.S. case of the P.1 variant.

Back in December, the UK variant was first seen in America. It’s been confirmed in hundreds of cases in a majority of the states. UK experts report this variant spreads more easily.

Will a Variant Become Dominant?

Due to their rapid spread, one of the variants could become the dominant strain in the U.S. very soon. That’s according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. He’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“When you have a virus that has the ability to transmit more efficiently than the wild type in the community… it will become more dominant than the wild type,” he said.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the CDC director. “We know viruses mutate,” she said. “And they tend to mutate in ways that are advantageous to the virus. We expected this.

“And this is why I feel compelled to underscore the need for each of us to remain steadfast. (And take) all the appropriate steps to protect ourselves and our communities.”

85,000 More Deaths?

If variants spread rapidly, they could add 85,000 American deaths to the projected death toll by May. That’s according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). It’s based at the University of Washington.

Randy Slavitt is the White House Senior Advisor for COVID Response. Here’s what he said. “Nothing about this news says we can’t defeat this thing. It just means we need more tools. And we need to be more united in doing it.

“We’re going to have to stay one step ahead of these mutations. We’re going to need processes to keep developing tests, therapies and vaccines.”

The IHME says deaths will stay lower, despite the spread of variants. But only if Americans take precautions. Like wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Plus frequently washing hands and staying home more. 

Ugly Worst-Case Scenario

What is the worst-case scenario for coronavirus variants? It’s not pretty. British scientists say this. It’s likely the B.1.1.7 variant “is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and death.”

Here’s what worries scientists and healthcare workers most. A variant could mutate to a point where it causes more severe disease. Or bypasses the ability of tests to detect it. Or evades the protection provided by vaccination.

“The variants that have been identified recently seem to spread more easily,” Walensky said. “They’re more transmissible. Which can lead to increased numbers of cases. And increased stress on our already overtaxed system.”

Fauci says the virus will continue to mutate. So, vaccine manufacturers must be “nimble to be able to adjust readily” to reformatting the vaccines. One option is for vaccine manufacturers to create booster shots to improve protection against variants.

Give Your Immune System a Boost

Regardless of whether you get a coronavirus vaccine, it’s important to keep your immune system strong. 

The immune system is a complex mixture of things. Like hormones, proteins and cells designed to battle illnesses. It naturally weakens as we age.

But we can give our immune systems a boost with healthy life choices. Including eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

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Comments

VIcki PLankenhorn - March 25, 2021
amen to (almost all, Bill?) the comments. Keep up the homework and common sense thinking.
Diane M Martin - March 24, 2021

No non tested DNA altering shots for something 99 percent recovery..for prevention vit d c and zinc.. hydroxychloroquine if you get it.. listen to dr Sherri Tenpenny people are dying and will die later from this immunization

Bill - March 22, 2021

Listen to the people who really know what they’re talking about and not the ones who just want your vote. Just wear the mask. We don’t want your nasty germs.

Julie A. Phillips - March 22, 2021

This country is being deceived by Flip Flop Fauci, the CDC and our democrat politicians to fit their socialist narrative and agenda. Science doesn’t change weekly like these medical and political socialists do. This Coronavirus is nothing more than the common cold or flu with a 99.998% recovery rate for healthy people and I believe a death rate of .0026%?? We need to start uniting and standing up for our freedoms and liberties now and push back on these dictator style mandates and stop living in fear. Masks do not work! They are only making people sicker by causing oral decline, bacterial infections, pneumonia which will cause death. It is ultimately harming your natural immunity that is specifically designed to fight these infections, bacteria and viruses. The lockdowns and separation is causing more harm than the virus is causing with the suicides, depression, anxiety, child abuse, murder, domestic violence, etc. Is this really worth living in fear and tyranny? I don’t think so, and I refuse to live that way. I trust in the Good Lord and if he feels it is my time to go, then it doesn’t really matter what you are or are not doing. Right? Not only that, why is it that all these illegals rushing to the border, breaking the law, and they are being let in are not being tested for Covid and being housed in hotels or facilities and in the meantime we have businesses being shut down here and Americans are being arrested for not obeying the Covid rules and mandates? ARRESTED? What is wrong with this picture? Does this seem right to you? Think about that!
STAND UP PATRIOTS AND PUSH BACK!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA

Tracie Andrusko - March 22, 2021

I’m in 100% agreement w/the states that never forced the mask mandate. If someone feels uncomfortable w/out, that is their choice to wear. I am angry as an American citizen that my rights are being violated by those who want to play this game of control.

Terry Iveson - March 22, 2021

Comments must be approved before appearing?
Wow is this just more Facebook?
I guess we’ll see
Ok, here goes
After biden one the election!
Antifa and black lives Matt, stopped rioting!
So it looks like the covid will be over when everyone submits to the government aka socialism
They have been cooking the numbers on this covid
They don’t know the difference between dyeing with covid and dying of covid
There wasn’t any other cause of death for awhile
They are taking about forcing everyone to get the vaccine, really !
Things just aren’t adding up, sorry but that’s the way I see it.

Joel Jay Bowman - March 22, 2021

I had the virus and although it was not pleasant, I never felt like I was going to die. In my humble opinion this has been nothing but a test to see how easily sheep can be controlled by fear. Interesting how now all of a sudden there is no flu deaths, hiv deaths, pneumonia deaths etc. Everything is now all blamed on the china virus. We’ve been lied to. I fought for a free America and just like abortionist say, “my body, my choice” its my choice to not wear a mask, never wore one and never will. Land of the free, not land of the sheep. Be careful but don’t be brainwashed. Masks Off!!!
In closing, if 4Patriots company is buying into this nonsense, you will lose me and my families business. Get woke, go broke. <>< GOD <>< bless America!

P Morgan - March 22, 2021

Why anyone gives “the Fauc” any credence at all is beyond me. He’s hasn’t been right about anything he’s said about the ‘Rona, because he’s lied about everything. Lockdowns do not work, masks do not work, social distancing is a farce, hydroxychloroquine does work, the numbers are grossly overinflated…and that’s for starters! The things you do for money and power!

G Frazer - March 22, 2021

Don`t fall for the lies. HCQ and zinc will keep you safe but it is no longer available to Americans. Check out American Frontline Doctors. Don`t let America be stolen by Globalists or that POS Faucci.

Dean L Gano - March 22, 2021

Jenny is right; take Zn+ Vit. D. Big Pharma and the government are in cahoots with one another and don’t want you to know what tens of thousands of doctors around the world already know and have known for 15+ years. Zinc and zinc ionophores like Vitamins C, D, & E PREVENT infection from coronaviruses. There are over 800 studies you can read at the National Institute of Health (NIH) website (PubMed) that will tell you this, so it’s not a secret; except to those who are not inquisitive enough to do some simple research. Wakeup Sheeple! You don’t need masks and you don’t need the experimental vaccine.

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