Man, every time think Delta Variant Scare You. You get to stop talking about COVID, they keep pulling me back in this time it’s the Delta variant.
It is a new series of mutations that has become in many parts of the world the dominant strain of circulating coronavirus.
How Does Delta Variant Scare You?
It’s really quite simple. The virus doesn’t have any intelligence. It’s not making decisions, it’s just as it replicates in humans, it suffers mutations, changes in its RNA, genetic code, and it turns out that some of those mutations make the virus less likely to succeed in the world, and some make it more likely, and it turns out that as the pandemic evolves, the more replication you have, the more chances you have to select a virus that’s got more fitness.
It’s more able to either reproduce at a higher viral load, so a given individual has more virus, that maybe that viruses more transmissible, it hangs out in air more, maybe it’s more sticky to the ACE2 receptors, so something in that spike protein changes that allow the receptor binding part of it to stick more, and then allows it to actually release easier, so that it enters the cells, all kinds of things can happen.
In addition, another sort of adaptation that can be selected for in the virus is that it’s a little resistant to our existing antibodies. If we’ve been previously infected, monoclonal antibodies, which we’ve developed in the lab to fight this thing because there are changes in the spike protein with the new genetic code, the new instructions, that make it less likely for these old antibodies to bind.
So with Delta Variant Scare You, which originally arose, was described in India, as opposed to Alpha variant, which was originally described in the UK, each of these variants seems to be more transmissible, easier to catch, than the prior, original, OG coronavirus, right?
So as you see these things arise, they quickly, because of just straight evolution, become the dominant virus in the world. So Delta Variant Scare You very rapidly is replacing Alpha, which very rapidly replaced the sort of wild type than the strain of the virus. And there are a lot of other little variants So, what does it mean with Delta?
Why Is Everyone Panicking About Delta?
First of all, you shouldn’t panic about Delta Variant Scare You, period. This is the deal with Delta. It’s likely, based on preliminary data, and by the way, anyone who tells you that they know exactly what’s going on with this thing, and speaks with absolute certainty about any of this, is selling you something, just ignore them, okay? We don’t know a lot about this, but here are some things that we do know based on the best available data.
So Delta Variant Scare You probably is more transmissible, probably about twice as transmissible as Alpha, which was about twice as transmissible and we are giving you rough numbers here, as the original thing. So it’s probably easier to catch if you don’t have immunity to coronavirus, either in the form of natural immunity from the previous infection, or vaccine-induced immunity.
Now, people have talked about that natural immunity isn’t as good as vaccine immunity, and so on and so forth, look, I haven’t dived into all that data. We are suspect that the vaccines are very, very robust producing very specific immunity that’s actually quite robust, and natural immunity may be as good in some cases, maybe it’s less good if you had less of viral inoculum, to begin with, a milder case, et cetera, there’s a lot of variables that go into natural immunity that are easier to control for with vaccine, because vaccine, you have a standard the dose is given twice. If it’s mRNA vaccines, right?
So this is what they’ve sort of looked at in England, Public Health of England pre-print, the vaccines, let’s say Pfizer and AstraZeneca are what they looked at, right, are pretty much almost as effective against Delta as they were against Alpha and the previous strains. So you’re talking like 88%,94% against hospitalization, with Delta variant and Pfizer, even a single dose of either of the vaccines, like 75% effective against Delta, just a single dose.
Now it looks like the double, the second dose, actually does increase your immunity, because there’s a priming effect. You give the first dose, the immune system gets on blast, you give the second dose, and like the clone army gets really solidified and activated to fight the infection when it comes again, so they are recommending getting the two doses if you can.
But even people who’ve been previously infected, probably have some immunity against Delta Variant Scare You. And by some, what I mean is this, and this is true of the vaccine as well. You might be able to get infected, you might have symptoms, you might even be, you know, down for the count for a couple of days.
Are You Get Hospitalized With Severe Disease?
That’s the real operative question because we’re all used to colds and flu, no big deal. Are you gonna die or be hospitalized? And the answer is, probably not. In fact, with the vaccine, there’s a, it’s really unlikely. Most of the people who are hospitalized and dying currently are unvaccinated, and this is definitely true in parts of the world where vaccine penetrance is very low:
Africa and India, very low vaccine penetrance, and look what’s happening. Look what’s happening in Australia. They have to go on lockdown again because they’re largely unvaccinated, and Delta is gonna rip through there unless they do these very aggressive measures that have a ton of collateral damage.
If you’re vaccinated, what, should you fear Delta?
The answer is, We are telling you, probably not, right? What if you’re a kid, you’re 12 and under, you can’t be vaccinated, should you fear Delta? Well, more kids, statistically, are going to get infected, because it’s a transmissible virus, and they’re vulnerable because they’ve not been infected previously, or they can’t be vaccinated yet, so yeah, you’re seeing more cases in kids.
But it doesn’t look so far like it’s more fatal or more damaging in kids, and this data is still emerging, but even if it was, the rate of severe illness, hospitalization, and death in children are so small,
Should you be panicking about your kids?
And the answer is, probably not. It depends on what your risk tolerance is, right? If, like, crossing the street frightens you for your kids. It should, ’cause that’s more dangerous than dying of coronavirus with your kid. So you ought to think about it this way.
Now, WHO’s come out and said, now we should wear masks even for vaccinated people because of Delta. This is just an abundance of caution clearly because we don’t even know the Long-Term Effects Of Covid-19 the mask has on a vaccinated person on the risk of getting Delta, which is incrementally smaller.
What’s the downside of masks?
But either way, if you wear a mask, and feel safer, go ahead, but here is the bottom line about what to think about Delta Variant Scare You. Don’t think about it if you’re vaccinated. If you’re unvaccinated, think about it this way: what was your risk before all this of dying of COVID based on your age, risk factors, other comorbidities? That’s your risk with Delta probably, although there is some evidence that Delta is more likely, about doubly likely, to land you in the hospital, although that based on small numbers, and we’re gonna have to really see whether that pans out.
But let’s say it’s the same risk as the other one, but you’re more likely to catch it because it’s so transmissible. You’re in the same boat, so you have to make a decision. Should you be vaccinated or not?