Those Dangerous Covid-19 Variants

All viruses have a habit of changing themselves a little bit so that they can defend themselves against the body’s natural defense system called “Antibodies.” In other words, the virus knows it is in enemy territory so it puts on a mask trying to fool the enemy into thinking that it is not there or that it is something else or that it is something harmless.

Virus, Protection, Family, Coronavirus, Woman, Face

When the virus does this little trick of trying to change it’s appearance, it creates a copy of itself called a “Variant.”

The variants are still dangerous and deadly and the big question on everybody’s mind now is “How many variants are out there waiting to infect people and are the available vaccines any way near effective in combating them? Even the scientists who developed the vaccines are hard at work trying to find the answer to that question. So far, the best available answer is, “We aren’t quite sure and it will take more time and more study before we can come up with a constantly definitive and reliable answer.”

So far there are at least three variants of Covid 19 loose in The United States. These three are (1) The UK Variant, (2) The South Africa Variant and (3) The Brazil Variant.

But even though these three variants are known, it must be understood that there are many more variants out there somewhere that either have not yet emerged to any significant degree or that have not been completely studied as yet. In other words, there is some possibility that the total number of possible variants might be exponentially large. There may be no end of them if they keep replicating themselves and changing as they tend to do. That is why it is so important that as many people as possible should get the available vaccines — so that the virus will eventually run out of people to infect and go dormant or disappear entirely.

The South African Variant is of particular concern to science because there is some evidence that it might be able to re-infect people who have already had covid-19 and that it might be highly resistant to the vaccines that are now being used.

Now it is being reported that all the variants seem to spread among the population much more easily than the dominant strain (The dominant strain being the one that we have all become familiar with, the one we wear the masks to avoid) and may cause a much more severe case of covid-19 in those who are unfortunate enough to get them.

So in a nightmare scenario, it might be absolutely plausible to think that people who have been vaccinated and that people who have already had covid and who have recovered, might actually still get a variant and be back up the creek without a paddle …. so to speak.

Beginning with some of the followers of former president Trump, there arose a misinformation campaign about the covid-19 virus claiming that the covid was no more dangerous than the common influenza (Flu) or a “Bad Head Cold.”

The truth of the matter is that the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, is part of a large family of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. However, SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious illness and even death.

But even with this knowledge at hand, it is difficult if not impossible to convince the naysayers, many of whom think the covid-19 is what Trump has called “A Big Fat Hoax” that the covid virus is a danger to health and even to life itself, so they have become the anti-vaxxers (refusing all vaccinations), the anti-maskers (refusing to ever wear protective face coverings) and the covid-conspiracy theory spreaders. They have also become what I call “The New Lepers” because their intransigence creates a real danger to the rest of society.

So here is what I believe to be the facts:

Even though most states in The United States are opening up now and loosening their covid safety practices (Masks, social distancing, hand-washing, etc.,) I firmly believe that we cannot rush into what we think of as the pre-covid normality of life without giving some consideration to the fact that not everything is known about this disease yet and we might be trying to return to the pre-covid “Normal” much faster than we should be.

We might feel like we are safe from Covid 19 because we have had all our vaccinations but because of the relatively unknown aspects of the “Variants” I am not sure we can actually become cock-sure complacent about our safety precautions.

There is still much to be learned.

So Much Crap Going On

The pandemic strikes and fear grips the world as thousands die. —– The Scientific Community scrambles to come up with some kind of vaccine in a desperate attempt to provide humanity with some protection against the killer plague sweeping the world like an out of control wildfire.

Then President Trump (Aren’t you glad he’s gone?) starts telling the world that the Coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu and other such misinformations. As time goes on, this “President” (Using the term carefully) starts twisting facts about the pandemic, spreads conspiracy theories about it and, according to a lot of really smart people who know what is happening in the world, becomes the single most enthusiastic purveyor of misinformation about the virus on record at the time.

Trump’s followers start denying that the pandemic is real, start refusing to adhere to the safety recommendations of the Centers For Disease Control — particularly denying the need to wear face masks for self protection and the protection of other people and, by their ignorant acceptance of the conspiracy theories coming out of the White House, unwittingly become super spreaders of the disease themselves.

I was shocked to hear stories of people who lay dying on their respirators giving their care givers hell, telling the caregivers that there is no such thing as coronavirus and claiming that they were dying of something else entirely and demanding medication and procedures for something other than the pandemic … often actually dying in complete denial of what was wrong with them.

So then along comes vaccines, reportedly not thoroughly enough tested, receiving “Emergency Authorization” for use among certain segments of the population. — Somehow, from the very beginning, the implication, at least, was that the vaccines were safe enough for the “Emergency Use” authorization and thus, millions of Americans, desperate and afraid, lined up trying to find places to receive their immunizations.

Competition for appointments for vaccinations became intense … fierce even … as hopefuls struggled to find a place and to make appointments to get their first shots. At the same time, the mal-informed and the misinformed and the un-informed kept blowing their horn of denial, spreading their intellectual poison to as many people as possible — and there were reportedly thousands of people gullible enough to swallow their lies and distortions and God only knows how many people lost their lives because of listening to the denial fools.

So the vaccines finally got the green light for safety — at least that is the word from a lot of mouths among the Medicos …. people who are educated enough that they ought to know what they are talking about …. and the vaccines finally became more readily available to a lot more people ….

And then the stories of bad experiences with the vaccines started to appear and the conspiracy theorists kept up their attacks on the American Psyche …and today I doubt that there are very many people who actually know the truth about whether the vaccines are actually safe or effective or not …. and if so, then “How Long and How Much” becomes the question.

I have never seen something so botched as this Pandemic and the response to it ini all the days of my life and I still do not have a clue as to where most of America stands on the issues surrounding all this ….and I sometimes wonder, “Did I do the right thing by getting vaccinated or not?”

Now they are telling us that it is safe to return to some semblance of normal living under certain conditions. I ask myself, “Is that really true or is that somebody’s hopeful wishing?”

Is there really any way we can know the truth about any of the things that we have heard from either side of the arguments about Covid 19?