New COVID-19 Strands are Introduced

Shea Marney, Reporter

Throughout the last year, the world has been significantly impacted due to COVID-19, and now as vaccines are being distributed across healthcare workers and those most at risk, new strands of the coronavirus are popping up to try and hamper the progress. New COVID-19 strains have come out of both the United Kingdom and South Africa. Each of them is turning out to be more infectious and more resilient than the last.

The new strain coming from the UK has shown to be more effective when trying to infect cells, and they are seeing increasing cases of this variant in the UK. They are also starting to see cases of this variant show up in the United States.

When it comes to local communities they are seeing an increasing awareness of the virus. Discussions are being held over whether the school should go back online or if sports should be canceled.

“I believe it will affect the community drastically because we’ve seen for the past couple months, like how impactful it is,” Bo Miller, senior, said. “Whether it’d be the economy, or like normal life. We’ve seen that like it has shut down communities in itself.” 

The rising number of cases for the UK strain is becoming an increasing worry, but another strain that is stressing the medical community is the strain coming out of South Africa. According to the Associated Press, this new strain also shows a greater mortality rate along with some speculation that it might be able to outlast the new COVID-19 vaccines.

“The new strain will probably have about the same effect as we’ve seen. I don’t think it’s going to cause a worse effect, I think it’s just going to make it last. Make the whole pandemic last longer,” Marilyn Mott, administrative assistant, said. 

The new strains are slowly spreading into the United States with cases popping up in different states. This can be a cause of anxiety or fear for those who thought the virus was almost over. 

For athletes, there is a fear that their sports season could be canceled for a second time. A concern is rising that even though spectators are not allowed and there are restrictions on athletes, the season might be cut short. Online learning is also becoming a strong possibility due to the continued intrusions of the new strain. Though many people think we will be able to last against the virus. 

“I feel like we’ll be more prepared this time since we already know from last time, or at least have a basic idea,” Wyatt Mcginnis, junior, said.

With the preliminary of the first COVID-19 invasion, many have hope that the community will be better at cracking down on the outbreak and stopping the spread.

For now, though, a way we can all slow the spread is by taking extra precautions and listening to the COVID restrictions that are being set in place.

“If somebody mandates that I take precautions, I absolutely will,” Andrea Marshbank, teacher, said. “Like if Governor Kelly came out and said that everybody is required to stay in past 10 pm like I would follow it hands down because there are professionals who inform that opinion.”