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The COVID Roller Coaster
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The COVID Roller Coaster

The COVID Roller Coaster

It’s just like the real thing!

If you look at the cases and deaths graphs from the very beginning it looks like a roller coaster ride and indeed it feels like it too. You know the way a roller coaster goes up, and at its height it is very scary, and when it comes down it’s not. Doesn’t COVID feel the same way?

Right now we are at the lowest point of new cases and deaths in the US that we have been at in months, but hold on to your seat, the omicron variant is about to take us on another ride. Countries are shutting down, restricting travel, increasing mask requirements and all manner of reactions to the new omicron variant found in southern Africa.

Most health experts believe this variant is present around the world and it’s just a matter of time until it is everywhere. What people do not quite “get” is that omicron is like the 9th or 11th variant – point being there have already been several variants – and there will be more.

Viruses replicate incredibly fast compared to living organisms, like humans. For example, where a human generation may be 20 years a viral generation may be a split second. By nature of that, any mutation is going to manifest itself much more quickly. And, the same applies for mutations. The more the virus mutates and replicates the more variations we will see. This happens with all viruses and living organisms. It’s something we should just expect, and prepare for.

Is the omicron variant more transmissible or deadly than say the delta variant? That is yet to be seen, but my educated guess is no. Will it evade the vaccine? Probably not. Will we need more vaccines for new strains? Absolutely!

At some point the world has to accept that CoV-2 is probably never going to be gone from our world, but COVID, the disease from the virus, can be managed or irradicated over a long period of time. Like measles or polio, if enough people are vaccinated, there is the possibility to stop the virus.

It is more likely this virus will have to be treated like influenza, and we will need a flu shot and a coronavirus shot every year, or maybe even more often. 

Do people understand that the reason for an annual flu vaccine is that the influenza virus mutates all the time, and what we’re actually getting in a flu shot is the vaccine for the latest variant or strain? I wonder if people realize that.

To those people who don’t want the COVID vaccine, look at the way we manage the flu and decide at what point you want to get vaccinated against the flu or COVID. A lot of people don’t get the flu vaccine. I swear by it because once I started getting it every year, my flu illnesses are virtually non-existent. Nuff said.

Vaccine companies will inevitably develop coronavirus vaccines on a regular basis to deal with the latest variants. Imagine that CoV-2 variants appear every month. They will develop a vaccine that addresses many of the strains and produce a flu shot for the variants encountered that year.

That’s how we fight the flu. We’ll have to do the same with CoV-2. Cases will go up and cases will go down, and we will have to deal with it.

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