Covid Updates

Robert Rush

 Late this summer, the Covid-19 Delta Variant, which ravaged India earlier this year, brought a whole new surge of the coronavirus, or in layman’s terms the “coof.” Due to this variant, the School of Mines is currently having some mask policies to curb the potential spread of this variant, and the state of Colorado is doing what it can to curb the variant, which has been increasing ever since June. However, is it probable for the Delta Variant to fade away in the next few weeks? Recent research from the New York Times states an affirmative on this question based on data from the UK and other countries which suffered from the Delta Variant months before it arrived on American shores. Also “coof” cases in the south have peaked in the last few weeks, especially within Louisiana and Florida. Experts, according to New York Times, theorized two explanations for this trend, stating that it either involves the virus spreading in waves than in every person or the virus peaked due to unpredictable measures of human behavior during “coof” surges. Regardless, these recent peaks in the Delta Variant speak good news to the hopeful end of the pandemic.

      Also, if you haven’t been exposed to the virus or haven’t received the vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine recently obtained full approval from the FDA, which gives a strong indication of the safety of the vaccination, regardless of its effectiveness. Despite its effectiveness against the initial strains of the “coof”, it seems to have a weaker effective strength against the Delta Variant. There are two reasons for this: one involving the Delta Variant and one involving the vaccine efficacy itself. Concerning the Delta Variant, there is strong evidence that the Delta Variance virus has a faster replication rate, a reduced incubation period, and a greater viral shedding. This theory helps not only explain why the Delta Variant is so transmissible, but also why the vaccine struggles to resist the Delta Variant concerning infections but is still steadfast in preventing hospitalizations. This is because while the body has the antibodies from the vaccine to deal with the coronavirus, the Delta Variant would produce so many particles which would overcome the vaccine antibodies at first, but the antibodies would gradually overcome the disease before it develops into a life-threatening situation. 

        Regardless of your situation with the “coof,” whatever you do, it is best to have caution on taking the drug Ivermectin as a treatment, since a recent publication on the effectiveness of the drug on the “coof,” has been withdrawn due to fraudulent data present in the study. Though there are many studies that the drug is not dangerous whatsoever to human beings, since it’s commonly used in the treatment of parasites, there’s currently not enough information on its efficacy on the “coof,” to make it a viable treatment for the disease. Therefore, don’t expect a meaningful result, if any, from this drug.

       Surprisingly, despite the massive political drive to state the pandemic is a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated,” an increasing number of medical experts are starting to deny this phrase, with some stating that systemic racism or I would say systemic poverty is the main factor in determining infection rates. Many people who identify as minorities have lower vaccination rates than the average American population, and one of the largest factors on this is that vaccine distribution is worse in southern states. This is not because there’s systematic racism going on within these states, but rather the vaccination sites are sparser, hence the increased cost to travel to the vaccine site, despite the vaccine itself being free. Other factors include the ability to take time off work and information gaps. These factors affect low-income families and individuals, which describe many minority communities, hence their lower vaccination rate. 

      However, would Vaccine Passports be the solution to end this systemic poverty, which so many people support? Well, what is a Vaccine Passport? Vaccine Passports, which are issued in cities like New York, are not proof of vaccination for international travel, but proof of vaccination for the use of most public and private services in New York, such as domestic travel, going to many convenience stores, restaurants, and entertainment. If this is the case, then this action wouldn’t solve the infection inequality driven systemic poverty, but deepen this problem, since low-income families would be treated as second class citizens and be barred from going to convenience stores, restaurants, and entertainment due to the lack of access to the vaccine.  In New York, which passed such a mandate, approximal   35% of African Americans, according to NYC health, are fully vaccinated as of this moment. This mandate also doesn’t give medical and religious exemptions, so people who have medical and or religious reasons not to get the vaccine are treated as second-class citizens by the mandate (though cities like San Francisco currently offer such exemptions). 

Despite these issues occurring within the states, there’s light at the end of the tunnel at the end of this pandemic. Plod forward, take the best steps on this situation, and help friends and peers on obtaining the best care they need for these last stretches of the pandemic.

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