Safety from the Delta/Lambda Variants
There has been a surge of various Greek alphabet’s worth of COVID-19 variants: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, lambda, etc. Initially, all we knew was just the novel coronavirus, “COVID”. The World Health Organization (WHO) created this naming system to publicly discuss the characteristics of each strain.
According to The Detroit News, here’s a guide to the different known strains of the virus:
It was first identified in the UK. It was traced in the United States in December 2020. This variant has been noted to have increased severity based on hospitalization and fatality rates.
Identified initially in South Africa and identified eventually in the US at the end of January 2021.
It was detected in the US in March 2021 but was first noted in India. This variant has been observed to have increased transmissibility and is continuing to spread globally.
It has been noted in several countries like South Korea, India, and the US. Experts are trying to observe it under the premise that this is more transmissible than the "Delta" strain. It is included in WHO's list of variants of concern and is also known as AY.1.
This strain has been detected in Brazil and Japan and was first detected in the US in January 2021.
This strain has multiple mutations and would be considered as a “variant of interest”, instead of a variant of concern
The WHO and the CDC have both defined this strain as a “variant of interest”
it was documented first in New York, USA, and is also a variant of interest.
First detected in India in October 2020
It was first noted in Peru during December 2020 and has also been found in the US.
Fear of Further Mutations
The Delta variant's impact in the US has been that new daily cases of COVID-19 have increased back to over 100,000 per day. As the virus continues to spread, mutations of the virus would be inevitable. Social distancing would help lessen the spread but vaccinations would prevent major surges if only the rates of administering them would increase. Moreover, those who already had been infected by the virus still need to be vaccinated. With COVID-19, reinfection is possible.
Many school districts are “at odds with state and local governments” over the mandate of wearing masks. Children are increasingly getting infected and becoming ill with the virus since requisite mask-wearing has been outlawed.
In Florida, record-breaking figures have been reported of the increasing number of children being hospitalized (172 children) because of the surge of the virus.
In Louisiana, masks will be mandated if indoors. By tightening their mask-wearing policies, schools and other indoor public settings could mitigate further surges of the virus. This will be true for all residents aged five and above, regardless of vaccination status.
Dallas Schools are going to (temporarily) require masks in the coming days after citing concerns about the Delta variant's rapid surge and spread across the state of Texas. This means that all staff, students, and visitors must wear masks on properties of the Dallas Independent School District.
Prevention is still better than cure
Good personal hygiene, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated are the top pieces of advice that the WHO and the CDC are giving to the public. In some countries, minors and pregnant women are not qualified to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. Moreover, people with weakened immune systems or other medical conditions are still susceptible to the virus despite available vaccinations. These people can be your family, friends, or acquaintances. To protect yourself and your loved ones, monitoring your health daily and practicing preventive measures are the best way to do it.
Several authorized vaccines can help protect you from the virus and/or prevent hospitalization because of complications from the infection. Vaccines contain weakened or inactive particles (or blueprints for producing antigens) of the organism that we wish to prevent, which then triggers an immune response within our body. This then helps our body fight the virus and eventually become immune to it. Another way to get immunity is to expose ourselves to the virus. It is much more "convenient" in that you'll continue with your daily routine without regard to suggested preventive measures. But it is riskier in that (1) your body may react badly to the virus and cause hospitalization or worse, death, and (2) the virus would keep mutating and the population cannot cope fast enough with the speed of the mutations. In other words, we will always be susceptible to the virus because our bodies might be immune to one strain but vulnerable to other newer strains.
To get more information about vaccines please visit the WHO website.
Observe social distancing
Either at home or in public, avoid close contact with sick individuals. Asymptomatic virus carriers are individuals who do not manifest any symptoms of the virus but can transmit it just as well as symptomatic patients. Asymptomatic individuals do not necessarily spread an “asymptomatic virus”. What symptoms a person experiences all depends on his/her immune response to the virus. It is best to keep a safe distance of about 6 feet or two arm lengths from other people who do not live in your household. Moreover, crowded and/or poorly ventilated spaces puts you at higher risk for COVID-19. It is best to avoid crowded areas and provide good ventilation to closed spaces.
For more details on how to properly observe social distancing, please see CDC.gov.
Practice good personal hygiene
Mundane routines to practice such as avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, coughing or sneezing into a tissue (and disposing of it immediately), and constant hand-washing are little steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Cold and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses. What is more important is to use soap when washing your hands.
Please see the UNICEF website for more tips on good personal hygiene.
Do remote or hybrid working/learning
Staying at home is also an effective way to help mitigate the further spread of the virus. These days, it is not always the policy of offices and schools to allow work-from-home or distance learning. However, with modern technology's aid, certain steps can be taken to lessen the exposure to the office or school. It is the growing trend these days to continue working or studying at home on some days of the week through the hybrid model. Coolpo AI Huddle Pana provides the right technology to bring out the efficiency of hybrid learning or hybrid working. With its 360-degrees camera and speakers, and 4 smart microphones, your office or school can be fully equipped for this setup using only this device and your laptop.
For more information on this innovative device, you may visit Coolpolens.com
The news these days includes giving out booster (3rd) jabs for those with weakened immune systems, production companies delaying the release of movies, offices delaying return to the office until 2022, and more organizations requiring COVID-19 vaccines from employees. These actions or reactions have all been prompted by the surge of COVID-19 cases, especially from the Delta variant. Keeping in mind not only our safety but also the safety of our loved ones will help to mitigate further spread and mutation of the virus. What better place to start safety but on our homes?