Briones: The saga continues

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

We’re not even done with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 that has caused havoc on the global economy since the first quarter of the year, and the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO), Ted Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is saying that another pandemic can be lurking in the corner.

Well, why not f—k me gently with a chainsaw while you’re at it?

I’m like, jeez, give us some time to catch our breath before you drop a bombshell like that.

As I said, we’re not out of the woods yet.

News of a new variant of the coronavirus that was recently detected in England, which some heath experts say is up to 70 percent more transmissible, certainly doesn’t help either.

It’s a good thing Ian Jones, a professor of virology at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England, is there to clarify matters.

Sort of.

“When the virus multiplies, it regenerates extensive variation but retains a relatedness to the original infecting virus. It is this relatedness that has been noted and given rise to the concern that a ‘new strain’ is emerging,” Jones said on sciencemediacentre.org.

According to him, “the reassuring conclusion so far is that the variation observed is largely ‘noise in the machine’ which, as the vaccine protection data has shown, does not mean that current approaches to prevention need to be modified.”

I have no idea what “machine” he is referring, but do you detect a feeling of exasperation in his tone? Or is it just me? Well, apparently not.

Dr. Lucy van Dorp, a senior research fellow in microbial genomics at the UCL Genetics Institute, also found these claims to be “frustrating,” having been made “without the associated evidence presented for scientific assessment.”

I won’t pretend to fully understand what they’re saying, but I do get their drift.

It appears that some governments have jumped the gun, so to speak, with their reaction to this discovery.

Although initial analysis indicates that the variant may spread more readily between people, the WHO said “investigations are ongoing to determine if this variant is associated with any changes in the severity of symptoms, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.”

In other words, there is no evidence that this new variant is more virulent.

I mean, it goes without saying that Sars-CoV-2 and its many variants are highly infectious. After all, we are in the middle of a pandemic, which, when used as an adjective as defined by Oxford Languages, means “widespread, prevalent, rampant, etc., etc., etc.”

So authorities should stop focusing on the obvious.

Really, there’s no need to toy with the public’s already frayed nerves.

I guess the question that needs to be asked is should you and I be worried? Well, after more than nine months, should we even care?