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COVID-19: The Future of Pandemic We All Wish Would Stay in the Past

While it may have started over three years ago, in March 2020, COVID is still around. Our lives changed within an instant, with the explosion of this disease. One day we were all laughing, hanging out with our friends, and enjoying life each and every day, and the next day all these pleasures were taken away from us. For many the infamous day March 13, 2020, has been engraved in our heads as the day that the life we knew simply disappeared. All of a sudden, all the days that we wanted off from school, the breaks we wanted from the amount of work, came true. Yet, we soon came to realize that all these little assignments, little conversations that we had passing in the hallway, and the laughs that we shared with many of our fellow peers. Were actually such precious moments in our life. For many March 13, 2020 was the last day that they got to experience such precious moments for the next year or two. we were no longer at the liberty of going and spending time with those around us, and even with our own family. All of our social connections, some that people may even argue make us human, were stripped away. Even simple things such as going to the grocery store would now take hours on end, as only a limited number could enter the store. From March 2020 onwards we saw COVID take millions of lives around the world. While at the beginning, many believed that it was just a small bump in the road, as the disease swept and affected the lives of their loved ones, and their friends, they began to believe just how severe this disease was, and how this would be a major moment in history.

At first, the symptoms of COVID were like that of the flu, or having a fever, thus it became extremely hard to distinguish whether a patient was simply suffering from the flu, or had been infected by the treacherous COVID-19. Luckily with the help of thousands of steam scientists throughout the world we were soon able to develop testing kits that were used to save the lives of countless people. We saw the advancements of tests that would take four hours for results, to those that could be picked up in minutes. Luckily, we also saw the development of vaccines which would save even more lives, and provided some hope that this disease epidemic would soon come to an end. People around the world waited their turn, as first, those were immune compromised, then seniors, and down the chain it went until it reached the youngest children that were eligible to receive the vaccine.

However, the wrecking ball that is COVID still continues to find its way into people's lives today. There have been numerous new strains of COVID that have come, and taken the lives of numerous people around the world. BA.2.86 ('Pirola') is the most current COVID strain, leading millions to question as to what effect this strain will have on the world, and if it has the ability to wreak havoc or will it simply pass over? This variant, which has unofficially been nicknamed “Pirola,” a combination of the Greek letters Pi and Rho, has more than 30 mutations to its spike protein ( Yale medicine,2023). Why, you may be wondering, is this important. Well, spike proteins are how this virus is able to enter your cells, take over and cause destruction. A similar number of mutations can be found in those strains, which changed peoples lives, forever, namely, the delta and omicron strains. This strain was first visualized in Denmark in late July 2023, and since then has been popping up in over six countries around the world. This strain made its debut in the United States just last month, in August 2023. The major question when it comes to this strain, is whether its numerous mutations will allow it to bypass the immunity that our body has built up over these past three years. Will our immunity, from having COVID previously, or having received the vaccines, be able to protect us from this threatening strain, or will this strain tear our lives apart just as the first outbreak did? Currently, scientists are researching to discover whether vaccines such as the COVID booster may aid an increased immunity against this strain, or whether if the strain blows out of proportion, will they be required to make a new strain that can combat before it’s too late.

While it goes without saying, especially with the onset of these numerous new strains, it is critical that you pay attention to your personal hygiene, not just for the safety of yourself, but for all of those around you. As the virus spreads from one to another, it changes over time, so the best way to prevent this virus from making its debut as a global threat, starts with doing the simple things and taking care of ourselves and our own health. Simple things like staying home even if you may have just the slightest cough, may save somebody’s life later on. So please, do your part in keeping the world, yourself, and all your loved ones safe and healthy.




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