Nearly nine months since the first positive case of COVID-19 in the U.S. and, yep, we’re still trying to get ahead of defeating this fucking virus. But while we’re all facing fatigue over social distancing efforts, wearing face masks everywhere we go and fear that the worst could be coming as flu and cold season approaches, new research suggests we’re still a long way from getting back to anything normal soon.
That’s according to the NY Post, which cites a recent study from scientists in Houston (which has not been peer-reviewed) that found that a new mutation of COVID-19 — which all viruses do — could be even more transmissible from human-to-human, putting all of our efforts to stop it from spreading nearly pointless. The good news? The research didn’t find that the latest mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes.
Per the NY Post:
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The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, said people with the strain, known as the D614G mutation, had higher loads of virus — suggesting it is more contagious.
OK, so at least it’s not a deadlier form of COVID-19, which, at press time, has already led to over 200,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and has infected over 32 million worldwide. But as we continue this fight against the pandemic, the news that the virus is mutating enough to actually overcome our efforts to slow it — like social distancing and wearing masks — proves that this thing continues to be a real, fucking son-of-a-bitch.
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.
So, yeah, if you thought that things would be better before they got worse, COVID-19 seems to have other plans. Get ready to spend more days working from home in your boxers and spend the holidays talking with friends and family through fucking video chats. Fuck 2020. Fuck 2020 so hard.