Come on, you know which virus we’re talking about: Sars-Cov-2, the one that’s causing the Covid-19 pandemic that’s wreaking such havoc on peoples’ lives, and the balance sheets of Finance Ministers the world over. Well, the lockdown are working, the vaccines are rolling out-but can we afford to be complacent? Will the virus mutate, and find a way back? How do viruses mutate anyway?
One person who knows is Maya Wei-Haas. In an article in National Geographic*(incidentally a gem of scientific journalism; clear, precise and with some fabulous pictures), she tells every concerned Mum, Dad and everyone else exactly what they need to know. The more cases you have, the more mutations you’ll get. A limited number, like the famous Kent 1.1.7 will produce new challenges to our immune systems. Coronaviruses aren’t quite as good at mutating as flu viruses are-however they’re not bad at it either.
For those who like to drink deep from the Well of Knowledge, there’s always good old Wikipedia*. Warning: it’ll take more than a coffee break to do this earnest, deeply researched and utterly worthy piece real justice. But you will come out actually knowing something, which is more than the blowhards at the Dog and Duck do.
Our thoughts? Currently,there’s no virologist on the staff at LSS, and many of the readers of this will be cleverer than the writer. That said, we think that Sars-Cov-2 will go endemic, as flu viruses have. That won’t be a problem if we continue to predict the variations, maybe using AI. And continue to develop new vaccines, using money. That is true for many other potential threats, like antibiotic resistant bacteria, for example. Perhaps if humanity found ways of building just a few less superyachts and a few more research laboratories, we could all sleep safer in our beds at night.
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