Having spent much of 2020 in ‘lockdown’ due to the Covid-18 pandemic the suggestion that there are three more variants of the virus already spreading around the world fills me with less joy than you might imagine.
Here in Australia we’ve been fairly lucky on two fronts. One is the sheer size of the country and it’s low population density, and the other that our governments, state and federal, took the issue seriously from the start. Despite rumblings from some sections of the general public, they imposed *and enforced* strong social distancing, mask wearing, and lockdown rules. Most of the population accepted the restrictions and worked with them, despite the hardships it caused, possibly because as a rule Australians *do* care about each others wellbeing. The result has been we’ve had very few cases here, tho of course each one has been a tragedy. Yes the health authorities made errors, especially when if came to keeping those in care homes safe, but overall we’ve been well taken care of.
Still, we can’t afford to become complacent. Despite the mandatory wearing of masks being lifted it should still make sense to continue to wear them *and* to continue to follow the social distancing and hygiene rules, especially if these new strains really *are* as virulent as claimed!
There are many vaccines under development, some seemingly better than others, however it’s still a moot point as to their efficacy against these new virus variants. For the companies developing them, it’s like trying to hit a moving target that changes even as you take aim at it. For now we’ll just have to go with the flow, accept whatever vaccine is recommended for us and hope that, if necessary, one vaccine won’t make it impossible to have a different one at a later date.
No matter which vaccine selected, it will in no way be a ‘magic bullet’ that will stop the virus in its tracks. What it *should* do is slow the spread of the sickness thereby decreasing the numbers of people needing urgent hospitalisation and possibly overwhelming the health system. In the meantime, I for one will still maintain as much distance as I can between myself and anyone else. I’ve all bar stopped going to places such as cinemas and restaurants and usually only leave the house to shop or for other essential activities. When I *do* go out, I wear as mask, and try to regularly disinfect, not just my hands, but anything else I might touch, such as shopping trolleys. It may be pointless in the overall spread of the virus, but I’ll carry on with it until I’m 100% convinced I won’t become just another statistic.