Different COVID-19 Strains Affecting California

Cris Pineda, Senior Editor

Ever since going on lockdown in March, we thought the pandemic would have ended a lot sooner than it did. Instead, it has increased in both contamination and extremity. California has been hit as one of the hardest areas in the world and with the recent lift of the second lockdown, a new strand has appeared. 

The highly contagious variant has appeared in many states of the United States. The California Department of Public Health states that it isn’t clear whether the variant is highly contagious or if the spreading has been due to the first strain of the virus. The reason it is also being spread quicker is that people have stopped necessarily carrying about the virus because it has happened for a long amount of time.  

The two COVID-19 vaccines that are currently being administered help the body’s immune system to target and alter proteins, but the virus mutations could alter the spike protein to a degree in which the vaccines could in the future become less effective. The new strand is also known as SARS-CoV-2, and since researchers have not found a lot of evidence on it, it could potentially get worse.

The symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 that are currently known based on research studies are a cough was the most common symptom in those infected with the new variant, reported by 35 percent. The other common symptoms were: fatigue/weakness (32 percent), headache (32 percent), muscle aches (25 percent), sore throat (22 percent), and fever (22 percent). These statistics were all reported from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) where the first strains of the new virus were found.

A way officials have been trying to lessen the spread is to alert people to wear two masks instead of one in order to create fewer bacteria in the air. Of course, they also recommend staying inside and not getting into social gatherings, and now more than ever people should social distance again due to new strains being created. The importance of still being aware that there is a virus out there and taking precautions is essential into coming back to normality.