The covid 19 virus has mutated and a new strain has developed-this strain beleived to be far more infectious than the last. Is it really that contagious?

Recent days have brought some startling and alarming news. The new strain found within Britain has evolved to become 70% more infectious than the strain back in March. Both Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson spoke to the nation in live broadcasts and made plans for the new year. These plans included closing schools (Scotland) and for the South of England: canceling Christmas Day plans.

Absolutely heartbreaking, I feel terrible for those poor people: to have to potentially face up to Christmas Day alone. When has this ever happened? Well the answer is never. Christmas has never been cancelled. And although many families will easily adapt and enjoy Christmas with each other at home, many people will be left on their own.

I feel a huge pull towards making myself available for those in need. What a lonely time Christmas can be for everyone in normal circumstances-and now this has happened. There really couldn’t be a more important time to give back, and at least if this can come out of it-we have a bright future.

But what if the virus isn’t as contagious as they are saying? 

There is speculation out there as to whether it is as contagious as they are saying. The scientific community are speculating over this and there is some doubt. There is doubt because there simply hasn’t been enough time to watch and monitor patterns over time. To make solid conclusions-there needs to be long standing studies and variants applied. It is a possibility that the virus could have taken off because of the close proximity within London.

It hasn’t taken off in the South West of England for example. They are not densely populated, but it has taken off in the South East and the East of England. They are typically more densely populated areas. Essentially, this is what a virus needs to mutate: people. By mutation, I essentially mean the organism in which it lives withstanding and hosting it long enough for it to pass to someone else. If it can’t pass quick enough-it dies. This is maybe why we are fortunate to live in areas that are not as densely populated.

And yet, the virus has taken off in a hospital within Melrose, Scottish Borders. The borders had so far enjoyed more freedom during this pandemic, because it is largely unpopulated and has been in tier 2 until recent. 

However, 22 patients are now infected with the virus in Melrose. This is a concern for the Scottish government, with Nicola Sturgeon confirming the outbreak in a live daily briefing. Her mood was somber when they said they were continuing to monitor the situation. The virus and the new variant has perhaps been able to thrive in an area which has had slack restriction up until now.

Maybe it is that contagious?

If the virus can take off within a hospital in the Scottish Borders, then it can take off almost anywhere, under even the smallest conditions. We can understand then why Sturgeon has put the whole of Scotland into lockdown. Perhaps Melrose was the alarm bell that set the decisions in motion. 

Why is there doubt?

There is always doubt when statements are made within the scientific community. The issue is…we cannot wait until months of testing has gone by to confirm our notions! We have to act NOW!

They have good reason to believe there is a problem, they have evidence of that from the simple rate of infection which has exploded within the South of England. And the identification of the new strain from our own genomic testing since September. There will always be voices questioning if it is legitimate to say it is 70% more contagious. However, it is just not wise to wait for further confirmation.

What are these people saying about the new strain, that precludes doubt?

Some scientists are questioning the link between the spike of cases at the weekend to the new variant. There has been a large article on the ‘scaremongering’ the new strain news is causing, in The Irish Times. And yet, just because someone is a scientist-does not mean they necessarily know what they’re talking about. This is one example of the ‘doubt’ that is flagging up in our news feeds. 

The scientist featured is talking about a weekend-but this strain has been tracked since September. He does have a point when he says the ‘case rise’ is not necessarily linked to the new strain, but due to increased socialising. Nevertheless, scientists have found the new strain is responsible for 2/3 now of all covid cases! This was found within the London cases, and the case load has grown exponentially in recent times. 

I have heard other people on tele suggesting there needs to be more time taken to test these theories out, but that doesn’t help the scientific community who are seeing the precursors and waving the flag. It is not definitive they say, but then neither is the use of vitamin D in treating covid and yet they mention it on the NHS website

Finland and Japan have had very few covid 19 deaths…being countries who consume large quantities of oily fish (a source of vitamin D). This is logic here and I am not the only one to think so, currently there are scientists banging at the door, looking for the UK to take heed, but the UK government is not responding. Vitamin D could be used to fight and prevent this pandemic.

Complacency Breeds Error

And so this brings me to complacency. Complacency: not doing anything, breeds error. Nicola Sturgeon has learnt her lesson God love her; she said so herself in the latest covid briefing

To be complacent: would be disastrous. We must act now.