When news about a possibly more-transmissible COVID-19 variant came out of Vietnam, it caught my attention. So far, it looks like a combination of of the undesirable characteristics of two other strains, both of which are susceptible to the immunity created by the vaccines presently available in the United States. So it's bad news, worse news if you happen to be in Vietnam, but not of immediate personal or local concern to me.
By this point, in most places in the U.S. if you haven't been vaccinated, it's because you can't be, won't be, or are waiting to see if the vaccine makes people break out in fuzzy purple spots. New cases are declining and people are increasingly able to get back to the way things were before this mess hit.
New variants are of wider concern to me, though, and they should be to you. Viruses are sneaky. They mutate and evade vaccines. One way to stop that (or at least slow it way down) is to keep the virus from spreading. If you've got a virus storming unchecked through a large, dense population, there will be a larger amount of mutated versions. The virus only needs to get lucky once.
Vietnam appears to have a grotty little one-party communist government with a lousy record on human rights. Nevertheless, we need to get 'em vaccinated, Party members, peasants and internal critics alike. Them and all the rest of the world. C'mon -- we wiped out smallpox, we darned near wiped out polio, and we can knock this new bug out, too.
The sooner and quicker COVID-19 gets eliminated, especially in those parts of the world where people have no choice but to live close together and work side by side, the fewer nasty surprises the human race is going to get from it. The whole planet is connected now; a virus that does in an ox-driver in a bucolic backwater can ride the train with his neighbor to the capital city and hop on an airplane with a diplomat; next thing you know, it's climbed aboard a cabdriver in your home town and he's pulling up to the curb just in time to take you to the five-and-dime -- or a wedding. Tick-tock.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
1 year ago