The B.1.1.7 variant of the Coronavirus is considered to be the most dominant variant of the virus. Several thousand cases have been reported in relation to the B.1.1.7 variant throughout the United States. The most prominent cause for concern at the moment is the likelihood that if left unchecked the Coronavirus variants could lead to another surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.
The Effect Of Coronavirus Variants
In order to try to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, states are rushing to ensure that as many people as possible can get vaccinated. The B.1.1.7 variant in particular has left experts quite worried. This variant originated in the United Kingdom and is purported to be both highly infectious and deadly.
Dr. Peter Hotez the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine which is situated at Baylor College of Medicine said, “In the Upper Midwest, we’re starting to see lots of younger adults getting sick and going to the hospital from Covid because of the B.1.1.7 variant. So remember that the B.1.1.7 variant is different from past types of Covid infections that we’ve seen more serious and possibly more severe disease among younger people.”
As per data collected by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention over 11,500 Covid 19 cases can be attributed to the B.1.1.7 variant. Currently, Florida has the highest number of B.1.1.7 cases. The rapid increase in the number of cases could be due to the crowds of people that have flocked to Florida for Spring Break. Several of these people are yet to be vaccinated and go around without masks.
Michigan is reported to have the second-highest number of B.1.1.7 variant cases in the country. The Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, “We’ve got a high proportion of variants, and that means coronavirus spreads faster. These are much more contagious, and we’re seeing that whether it is at youth sports or it is the re-engagement of some of our restaurants.”
According to Whitmer, the continued pandemic is due to the emergence of new variants of the virus, pandemic fatigue, and travel. The same is evidenced by the fact that over 38 million people traveled by air just in March. The Transportation Security Administration has expressed their concern stating that the last month was one of the busiest for air travel a clear problem for those trying to maintain Covid 19 safety precautions.
“We’re vaccinating about 3 million people a day. Every day that goes by we get closer and closer to a greater degree of protection. So now is just not the time to pull back and declare premature victory,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He explains that the safety precautions and guidelines are extremely beneficial in fighting the pandemic. The same precautions and safety measures that have protected the Coronavirus will prevent illness caused by the variants. The most important precautions that everyone must observe are social distancing and wearing a mask.
Governors and local leaders seem to have disregarded the need for caution. Several states have lifted their statewide mask mandates and have relaxed business restrictions. There are many more states who have announced their intention of relaxing the safety precautions and removing mask mandates. Arkansas announced on Tuesday that the mask mandate would be lifted. The Governor of Alabama also announced her plan to lift mask mandates next week. Dr. Fauci said, “ Hang in there a bit longer. Just hang on, continue to do the public health measures, and then we can pull back later when we get a greater degree of protection from the vaccines.”