New year, new me? Mx ’Rona is cackling apparently.
The more contagious COVID-19 strain is starting us off this 2021. According to experts, once this becomes the dominant variant in our shores, it will increase our coronavirus cases 15-fold. “With our current [reproduction rate] of 1.1, 20,000 cases at the beginning of the month will be about 32,000 at the end of the month,” says Epimetrics Inc.’s Dr. John Wong in an online press briefing. “But if the variant takes over, the 20,000 cases can become almost 300,000 cases by the end of the month.”
Although no evidence suggests the new variant to be more deadly, higher cases also translates to a higher death toll.
According to health experts, BC117, the new COVID-19 strain, is 70 percent more contagious than the previous variant. Fortunately for us, it has yet to be detected in the Philippines. But Hong Kong recently found it in a passenger who had come from the Philippines on last Dec. 22.
University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-dela Paz warns the public that we should maintain current pandemic protocols. “Kailangan po patuloy na maging vigilant at gamitin ang ating talino at kakayahan upang huwag na pong tumaas ang kaso ng COVID sa bansa,” she explains in the online briefing. Just because the worst year of our life is technically over doesn’t mean we can completely relax.
Like everyone else, I wanted to be hopeful in 2021. That’s one trait sadly missing last year. But now that we know the pandemic is still out there, the crisis is far from over.
So mask on at all times, social distance TF out of one another, shut down those influencer parties (SMH) and continue fighting systematic injustice. This is a new year, but this ain’t our first year dealing with this pain in the ass pandemic.
Photo from Inquirer