Just when you thought it might be safe to go back into the water – safe in the sense that the Delta variant is waning, and we can use a break from the extra hype. Some movie lines live on way after the movie was filmed. For example, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Or, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Or even, “May the Force be with you.”
Regardless, the Delta variant devastated India and has caused a severe surge of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States. The latest variant the CDC has a concern about is the R.1.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7017e2.htm. A new coronavirus variant, R.1, was initially discovered in Japan and recently seen several months ago at a Kentucky skilled nursing facility. The CDC stated that the R.1 is like the original strain that hit the United States in early 2020.
This R.1 variant has several mutations seen in other variants and some surprises that worry the CDC. The COVID-19 spike contains hundreds of proteins explicitly sequenced for the virus to enter the human body through ACE2 receptor cells. Some of the unique mutations appear to make this variant more infectious. https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_app/new-r-1-covid-19-variant-with-unique-mutations-discovered-at-kentucky-nursing-home_4010245.html?welcomeuser=1
https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/new-covid-19-variant-has-some-scientists-edge. The most significant concern about the R.1 variant is that the fully vaccinated easily became infected. COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent infection. They reduce the severity of symptoms, thereby reducing the risk of hospitalization and lowering the mortality rate.
When you are vaccinated and catch the COVID-19 virus, you may not see or feel any symptoms, but you are still infected with the virus.
https://www.gisaid.org/hcov19-variants/. This link will give you more details that you can digest on COVID-19 variants and where they are in the world today.
The R.1 variant is not more deadly than the Delta variant; however, it is more easily transmitted from one person to another (even those vaccinated). That fact bothers CDC scientists.
Is it ever going to be safe to go back into the water? Yes, but not as quickly as we would like. We were hoping that the vaccines would shut down the virus, and we would be enjoying 2022 as we did in 2019 – not worried at all about pandemic viruses and variants.
Interestingly, some countries are relying on vaccines as the magic silver bullet to achieve herd immunity. However, variants like Delta and R.1 appear to penetrate the vaccine protective barrier and infect both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Other countries did not have access to vaccinate their population and resorted to antivirals – look at the success in India with the Delta variant.
True herd immunity occurs when most of a population has survived the viral infection. Then, the virus has no one else to infect and dies away – think the Spanish Flu, Black Plaque, and more. The R.1 is the latest and has not spread as rapidly as the Delta variant. Why? No one knows.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com