HOW IS US FARING IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID?
Except for border states and a few others such as Michigan, the United States appears to have turned the corner in achieving herd immunity for the population. Here are some trends which barring the unforeseen, are likely:
- 3 million being vaccinated every day. From Apr 19, all can get vaccinated.
- J & J in review because of 6 million inoculated, only 6 had adverse effects and only 1 died. All six affected were young women in the age group 18-48.
- Google is planning to have everyone back in the office by end of April.
- Most Universities are planning to resume full operation from Fall Semester (Sep-Dec, 2021).
- California plans to start full operations from June 15, 2021 with masks being mandatory.
What is the reason for the surge in Covid in India? Is it bad?
From what appeared to be a gradual road to recovery, India is now experiencing some serious speed bumps in handling Covid. The number of cases per day is hitting over 200,000 with some states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Punjab and Karnataka seeing a steep increase in the number of people who have caught it. Personally, I have lost a few near and dear, people who were healthy up until they faced Covid. It is sad but we must deal with it in the best possible manner so we will all come out better and healthier.
One possible reason for Maharashtra seeing such as steep incidence of Covid is the discovery of a new Covid strain, the Double mutating virus. The news of such a variation (B1617) first appeared in February 2021 in the UK and was written up during the last week of March in BBC and other sites. It started in Maharashtra and has now been detected as far out as in California. What does this mean? Is it more dangerous? Can the vaccine stop this too?
The answer to the first question is a No and to the second is probably yes. Why not definitely? Because it is mutating, and more study is needed before a conclusion can be arrived at. Every vaccine must be taken periodically, and it is possible that the Covid vaccine may have to be taken once every six months as opposed to the typical twelve-month cycles, like for flu in the US.
The downside of the Double Mutant is that it spreads aggressively, much quicker than the original and that perhaps explains the spike we are seeing in India. And now with many preferring to return back to their villages, it is likely that it might spread there too. No easy answers. But a few safety precautions taken will help reduce the impact greatly:
- Wear a mask while stepping out. Weigh and double weigh if there is a need to go out.
- Stay and work from home far as possible.
- In order to prevent a second migration back to the villages from the city, the Govt. must put money in everyone’s hands. Use the data from previous years to calculate the approximate income and pad it by 25%. We tend to understate our income.
 Covid vaccinations hit another record, average now above 3 million daily, Apr 3, 2021, CNBC
 U.S. pauses J&J vaccine rollout after 6 people of 6.8 million get rare blood clots, Apr 13, 2021, Science News
 Google plans to open its US offices to some employees in April, Mar 31, 2021, The Verge
 California plans to lift most Covid restrictions June 15, keep mask mandate, Apr 06, 2021, CNBC
 Second Covid-19 wave: Maharashtra, 9 other states show steep rise in daily cases, Apr 15, 2021, Live Mint
 India Covid variant found in UK specimens taken in February – Apr 16, 2021, The Guardian
 India’s migrants flee to their villages as covid-19 prompts new lockdown, Apr 14, 2021, Live Mint
 India Covid variant found in UK specimens taken in February, Apr 16, 2021, The Gaurdian