US COVID Down Only For Now. New UK + Other Variants Crossing Borders:
So for the first time in awhile, the new cases of COVID in the US look like they’re trailing off.
We’re also very fortunate, because there are now 3 accepted vaccines with at-least a 4th on-deck soon.
But, let’s try to keep the celebration short.
Because even though our daily-case waves are cresting and breaking,
International disease-researchers are finding ones of a different-type that could accelerate the pandemic in multiple-dimensions…
The Short Answer:
- US COVID-19 cases are trailing off.
- Vaccines are on their way and being administered.
- New virus mutations are more dangerous.
- The UK & South African mutations are 50% more infectious.
- This does not increase infection at a fixed rate.
- It -accelerates- infection.
- The larger number of people infected go on to infect still more.
- After 4.5 Weeks, the UK & SA variants will infect 2x the people as “standard” COVID-19.
- The Biden Administration is trying to release all vaccine doses ASAP.
- We will not have herd-immunity until the middle of 2021.
- The UK strain will become dominant in the US by March.
- Even though UK case-counts are down 23% weekly, 0.4% of their population gets infected every day.
- It is already in 33 countries and 21 US states.
- The mutation of the COVID virus is similar in some ways to the mutation of the 1918 Flu virus.
- Observing best-practices from the CDC from the beginning of the pandemic will still be our best bet near the end of it.
- Despite the 3-4 vaccines, we still can’t let our guard down.
Read on to find out the details…
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So even though we have some new hotspots like California,
Overall US cases are down, and just under 1% of the population has been vaccinated so-far.
But there are 2 new major variants of the disease that despite international travel-bans on the UK,
Have somehow already started crossing into other countries.
If you look at how they backtrace these things though, it may be less mysterious.
The UK variant, codename B117, is suspected to have been present at least by the fall of 2020.
So for the good news? If you’re vaccinated or otherwise-immune, you’re probably immune to B117
The bad news? Both the UK and the South African variants appear to be 50% more infectious than the current “standard” variety.
But to push back, neither of those variants is agreed upon by Scientists to be more-deadly than “standard” COVID-19,
Regardless of what Boris Johnson says.
The real problem is, among other things, the speed of infection.
-But also the Acceleration of infection, too.
Because compared with the previous variet(ies), the UK one infects 50% more people than the previous type.
But wait, it gets worse; because as they say in the Sciences,
“In Math 1+1=2. In Biology, 1+1=5.”
As the B117 virus infects more people per-turn, those infected with it go-on to infect a higher percentage of people, too.
And so-on, and so-on,…
So much so, that the new version will infect 2x as many people after only 4.5 weeks!
And the reason this is so bad, is that even with the Biden Administration’s Full-Court Press. on COVID,
We don’t have enough doses to get meaningful immunity soon,
And Dr. Fauci predicts the US might have a shot at herd-immunity somewhere around the middle of the summer, 2021.
Furthermore, even reckless experiments with herd-immunity on the part of countries like Sweden have failed.
And we still don’t know if places like Bergamo, Italy have achieved it by accident instead of design.
(though we do know Italy’s daily cases are now down to 1/3 of what they were at the peak of November 14th, 2020)
But wait, it gets worse.
The UK variant is not only also in Italy, but 32 other countries across the world!
And at-least in 21 states across the US, including:
NY, NJ, CT, MA, MD, TN, GA, FL, LA, IL, IN, MI, WI, MN, TX, NM, CO, WY, UT, CA, OR
To which scientists are already projecting that because of its rate-of-infection,
B117 will become the dominant strain in even the US by sometime in March.
So that little dip at the peak of new cases/day in the US?
That’s going to shoot right back up, eclipsing even the weird Southern California and Ohio strains of the virus here.
And because it’s going to keep going up through March, Four Months Earlier than the US reaches herd-immunity,
We may have another 4th wave on that chart that looks like a Tsunami before it eventually crashes,
Even though only 0.1% of our population is thought to have the UK variant right now.
Though there is some good news out of the UK, that their 7-day average case-count is down by about ~23%,
B117 has still been able to keep infecting people despite lockdowns where other variants were more seriously-affected.
As much as 0.4% of their population still gets infected with COVID every single day.
So in a way, we are all facing a situation similar to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.
Where they got a more-deadly version of their virus due to the social-proximity of soldiers fighting World War I,
Despite everyone’s best-efforts, South Africa and The UK are giving us more-infectious versions of a virus with the same mortality-rate.
So, as public-health officials have been warning us since the vaccines came out,
But before we really knew about B117,
We still need to keep up the best-practices from the beginning of the pandemic,
Even though there is a vaccine “light” at the end of the virus-mutation tunnel.
(and No, it does not mutate your DNA and turn you into Frankenstein, as we discussed last time!)
Another reason to keep this up is the First-Derivative problem.
We’ve had thousands of changes to the COVID-19 virus, with about 16 major ones,
The 2 newest being the ones discussed here.
But as the total number of people infected with the virus increases,
The potential for the number of significant-mutations to increase, also goes up
-At an Exponential Rate!
And we really don’t know if/when a new mutation will become BOTH more-infectious AND more-deadly!
So despite the promise of the soon-to-be four vaccines,
We all really need to be careful and do everything we can for best-practices of prevention.
Because the UK coronavirus-variant B117 might be dangerous, but who knows what else we’ll encounter before June/July 2021?…
• Source: CDC – New Variant Transmission
• More Coverage: CDC – New Variant Case Map of US | CDC – New Covid Variants List | UK Covid Cases Graphs | Faberge Organics Commercial – Virality
• Source Study: CDC – Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 Lineage — United States, December 29, 2020–January 12, 2021