Will a New South African Covid Strand Cause Trouble?


Gabriela Danger, Writer

Like any virus, COVID-19 is mutating and changing to combat medicine meant to stop it. One example of this is the recent discovery of a new strand of the disease, hailing from South Africa. Studies have shown that the vaccines already in use do not do much to stop it from being contracted and spread.

However, the new South African variant doesn’t seem to be any more deadly to human hosts. However, it comes with the same risks as any COVID sickness. Stay home, wash your hands, social distance, and most importantly, wear a mask. It still adversely effects older people and those with preexisting health conditions.

The one thing the South African strand is is more contagious. It’s spike proteins (what makes it able to enter the human body) appear to be mutated in a way that makes it easier to pass on.

All hope is not lost, because according to BBC, “it is extremely unlikely the mutations would render vaccines useless.”

Both of the vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, show that their effects are only slightly less effective on the new variant. Other companies, such as Janssen, Novavax, and Oxford-AstraZeneca, are working on getting their vaccines approved by the FDA and out into the public.

Countries in the East seem to already be combating this strain. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to think it will arrive in the US soon.

Some ILS students, like 11th grader Agustina Coretti, feel this variant could be problematic because it would “take us even further from normality.”

While optimistic about the vaccines, should the US get hit with this new South African strain, Coretti advises others to go into quarantine. “If we all take some time to quarantine without breaking any rules, then we could potentially make the virus go away,” she concluded.

Lorena Alvarez, another 11th grader, contends that if the new strand arrives, it won’t “be as bad as when the virus first got here because we have more information now on how to stay safe..”

Alvarez says that following the already established guidelines will keep us safe. She also hopes that the vaccines can fully stop the virus in the near future, but “I’m not sure because of all the variations of COVID 19.”

In the future, vaccine technology will probably be able to put a dent in the spread of this virus. Although the South African variant may cause some trouble, if we all do our part to follow proper procedure, we can begin the change now. Wear your masks!

For more info, go to this site.