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Is COVID-19 mutating to become more virulent and deadly than ever? 

According to the headlines, we’re in BIG trouble.

COVID-19 May be evolving to bypass mask-wearing & hand-washing 😱

So you don’t have to click on the clicky-bait… here’s what the New York Post article says…

“A new COVID-19 mutation appears to be even more contagious, according to a study — and experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts. Scientists in a paper published Wednesday identified a new strain of the virus, which accounted for 99.9 percent of cases during the second wave in the Houston, Texas, area, the Washington Post reported. The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, said people with the strain, known as the D614G mutation, had higher loads of virus — suggesting it is more contagious. Though the strain isn’t more deadly, researchers said it appeared to have adapted better to spread among humans. David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the findings suggest that the virus may become more contagious and that this “may have implications for our ability to control it.”He said it’s possible that the virus had evolved to resist efforts such as hand-washing and social distancing. “Wearing masks, washing our hands, all those things are barriers to transmissibility, or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious, it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,” Morens told the newspaper.”

COVID-19 mutation may be evolving to bypass mask-wearing, hand-washing


Key takeaways from the New York Post Article… {CAUTION: Serious sarcasm ahead}

“experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts”

😂😂😂 Dang, this virus has genius level IQ… guys, we already know that masks don’t have much to offer in protection… and we only have correlational evidence suggesting there MAY be a link between mask wearing and a decrease in spread. This is not new.

If you’re still believing the validity of masks as a significant barrier against coronaviruses… I know that this is scary, and masks offer a sense of control and protection in the midst of the fear… if you’re interested in having an open dialogue, PLEASE pm me so we can have a discussion about it.

“Scientists in a paper published Wednesday identified a new strain of the virus, which accounted for 99.9 percent of cases during the second wave in the Houston, Texas”

This is actually great (read: “not new”) news because…

Although it’s supposedly

“more contagious”

they also found that it

“isn’t more deadly”

So… basically, they’re saying it’s the same as thousands of other coronaviruses that mutate to invade more hosts? Shocking. 🤔

“He said it’s possible that the virus had evolved to resist efforts such as hand-washing and social distancing.”

I mean, seriously, this is a SMART virus! We should all be very scared.

“as the virus becomes more contagious, it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,” Morens told the newspaper.”

We know that viruses mutate… this is the purported reason that we have a new flu shot each year. Viruses do mutate to be able to invade more hosts… We see a similar intelligence with bacteria (and the true epidemic with antibiotic resistance). However, the vast majority of the viruses we come in contact with each and every day are NOT deadly… in fact, we likely will have no symptomatic reaction to them AT ALL.

In fact, science is only beginning to explore the idea that viruses may actually have a Protective mechanism!

In my opinion, what we’re seeing in this article is the beginning attempt to back-pedal out of the junk-science they’ve been peddling. And, in the same breath, attempt to keep us cowering in the corner… it’s art really.

How did we get here?

Can we all go back to the beginning and just remember what we’re doing here in the first place?

Remember “flatten the curve”? That had nothing to do with ending the virus. It was an attempt to keep hospitals at a manageable capacity and reduce the likelihood of complications and poorer outcomes in an overcrowded hospital.

It’s well known that most hospitals stay “at capacity” at baseline a majority of the time, since keeping beds full equals profit. Pretty sure we’ve been effective at achieving the curve-flattening goal since we now have a majority of healthcare systems experiencing a significant loss in profits leading to closings, furloughs, and layoffs due in large part to the decrease in patients coming in.

What’s the solution?

Now, I’m not saying we should have a free-for-all… we should all be taking personal responsibility for mindfully interacting with our communities.

If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re beginning to feel a little something coming on, and you can’t stay home… mask up. I don’t believe it can hurt, despite what some fear-mongerers on the other side of the mask debate may say about CO2 levels and such. The purpose of general-masking (not N95s) is to prevent droplets from falling onto surfaces others may touch or spraying someone you’re in close contact with.

However, let’s talk about the whole “asymptomatic carrier” thing… Asymptomatic carriers are just that… ASYMPTOMATIC. Meaning they have no symptoms and their bodies are not responding in an effort to rid itself of the viral load (aka: increased mucus production, coughing, etc).

Since when do we test a person for a virus who has no symptoms?

I believe the nonsense of testing or requiring people who have zero symptoms to be tested and/or to wear a mask is an attempt to promote fear and encourage people to further give up control and personal autonomy. The idea of “asymptomatic transmission” with coronavirus is speculative and imaginative at best. But, I digress.

Let me try to end on a happy note. One hopeful takeaway I got directly from the referenced study was…

“Inasmuch as remdesivir is now being deployed widely to treat COVID-19 patients in Houston and elsewhere, our findings suggest that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 strains currently circulating in our region should be susceptible to this drug.”

Molecular Architecture of Early Dissemination and Massive Second Wave of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus in a Major Metropolitan Area

I know first-hand that the results of this illness (regardless of origin or mutation) are real. We see patients in the hospital coming in (although admittedly less frequently) who are quite sick. The virus is weird, and honestly dissimilar to anything I’ve personally seen in the U.S., but as we’ve learned more about the virus itself and explored treatments, we’ve had huge improvements in patient outcomes.

We’re not in the same boat we were in back in early 2020 (feels like a decade ago). We are more knowledgeable and know that this particular illness most detrimentally affects the elderly and those with underlying conditions (obesity, diabetes, and heart disease atop the list). We also have treatments like Remdesivir, dexamethason, and (in some case) hydroxychloroquine that are working. Working so well that although cases are rising… the percentage of deaths is on the decline!

I won’t get into the vaccine debate here, although that post is likely forthcoming. My main objective in posting this today is to highlight the ridiculousness of the fear-mongering headlines, and to offer a bit of hope and support during these trying times.

My hope is that we will find clarity and courage to be able to move forward with hope and confidence in what the data is Really showing us, and not just taking sensational emotion-inducing headlines at face value.

Blessings,

Sarah

Sarah McLain


Sarah McLain, RN

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