For the past 480 days, people across the world have feared the same virus that changed all of our lives: COVID-19. The multiple lockdowns, days in quarantine, and abundance of masks represent how exhausting this pandemic has been for everyone. While mask mandates have been lifted and 47% of Americans are vaccinated, another issue has risen: the new COVID-19 variant.
Known as the Delta Variant, scientists have found this version of the coronavirus in more than 80 countries. While it was first detected in India during April and May, scientists throughout the world are worried about this new strain as it can become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States. Even though approximately half of the nation is vaccinated, this new strain can still affect the country as it is more contagious than others and not as well known since it is a fairly novel strain.
Another main concern about this new strain is how it will affect unvaccinated individuals as a recent study from the United Kingdom found that children and adults under 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become affected by Delta. Even though numerous states have lifted the mask mandate and social distance requirements, they should keep in mind the new strain that can hurt more people. Other countries like India and Nepal have returned to lockdowns and put public health restrictions; however, Americans have expressed no concern and continue to not social distance themselves from wearing masks.
Highly populated areas like Los Angeles have had a rapid increase in COVID cases because of the lack of masks and new variants spreading. With new variants found every day, scientists urge individuals to get vaccinated and continue wearing masks in order to stop the spread of all coronavirus cases.
Even though the past year and a half have been exhausting, people need to understand the seriousness of this issue as the delta variant can spread faster than other variants. In the White House briefing on June 22, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the Delta Variant is the “greatest threat” in the world’s efforts to contain COVID-19. Without wearing masks or following the public health restrictions, people will continue to endanger not only their health but also other’s health.