Doomsday COVID variant: Could this news mean even more lockdowns?
To anyone who thought we were out of the woods: we’re not. As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic rages on, some folks have been getting rather used to life post-vaccine. After vaccination sites rolled out in much of the world last spring, many of those inhabiting countries with lifted restrictions enjoyed their time after lockdown.
This summer, people have been out in the world again, enjoying life in the public domain. Many public places have allowed patrons to enjoy their services without the trademarks of the COVID-19 pandemic: plastic dividers, hand sanitizer, and of course, mask mandates.
However, talk of the Delta variant of the virus has even the vaccinated worried about another lockdown. This week, news of an even deadlier variant has people spooked more than ever. Here’s what we found.
Newsweek dropped a story on Wednesday which told its readers scientists are underestimating the coronavirus. Reports say at the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020, scientists weren’t too worried about mutations or variants coming after the initial version of the virus was addressed.
However, as sweeping news of the highly contagious Delta variant continues to tear up headlines, we can see this prediction was certainly off. As a result of the Delta variant ripping through folks around the globe, the CDC has recommended universal masking again.
Continued mask mandates so soon after the optimism which came from the first vaccine roll outs in the spring has been incredibly discouraging to folks getting used to the pre-COVID-19 way of life. Furthermore, the new Delta variant has folks thinking about lockdown, and wondering if more widespread shut downs could happen again.
We can’t speak for other countries, but we doubt the U.S. will ever see lockdown again in the same capacity we saw during the early days of the pandemic back in spring 2020. The already divisive U.S. saw the pandemic during the lead up to one of the most highly anticipated presidential elections in history.
During this time, we saw how disorganized the country is regarding thoughts about the coronavirus. Anti-maskers & conspiracy theorists took the government’s safety suggestions as a call to action and a war declared on constitutional rights. However, the U.S. government’s suggestions were merely that.
Citizens reeled in confusion as state & federal leaders pleaded with citizens to stay home, but also go out and support local businesses, as rules were worked around with outdoor dining & capacity restrictions.
Meanwhile, some states instated weak or little restrictions while others shut down local public transportation telling its residents to remain in lockdown until safety was guaranteed. We just don’t think the U.S. has a decent plan for another lockdown. However, as 2020 taught us, anything is possible.
In Newsweek’s report, Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who leads the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota is quoted saying the Delta variant is going to get much worse.
Furthermore, there have been several other variants which have developed alongside the Delta variant. Eta, Kappa, Iota, and Lambda are among the strains which have been reportedly spread most notably. The Lambda variant appears to be particularly threatening, as reports say the strain has “torn through” Peru, and has unusually high rates of infecting already vaccinated people.
We can’t say which variant may be the next big threat concerning the coronavirus, but the number of variants rising is certainly concerning. We don’t know whether variants will bring lockdowns around the world again, either. We’ll have to keep our eyes glued to the news cycle (yet again) to find out.
What kept you sane during the early days of lockdown? Let us know in the comments below!