COVID: The 3 things to watch out for this winter

immune variant

No matter what country is the vaccination rate? a favour: For example, 79.7% in Quebec as of November 19 versus 76.4% in France. However, there is one piece of the data that is unknown: How many people have had COVID? We may have a total number of cases, and it partially interferes with the vaccine, and therefore tells us nothing about all those who now have antibodies.

As journalist Sarah Zhang wrote, in the magazine Atlantic Ocean“This uncertainty is important because even a small percentage can translate into a large number of people” who are likely to be infected and therefore hospitalized. Because the unvaccinated tend to be people who share kinship, or are more numerous in certain neighborhoods or areas, the risk of new outbreaks is greater than if they were evenly distributed among the population.

This is currently observed in many European countries, such as Germany, where the vaccination rate is slightly less than 70%. this country announcelast Thursday, restrictions To unvaccinated people in their access to public places.

In addition, there is a possibility that the immunity caused by the infection or the vaccine will decrease over time.

variable variable

Sarah Zhang recalls that in one year, between the alpha and delta variables, the virus doubled the rate of infection. This “development” appears to have slowed in recent months, without knowing if it can be attributed to vaccination. But it remains a risk nonetheless: an alternative that, through the mutations the virus continues to traverse, will find the “recipe” to escape our immunity, will have a massive playing field at its disposal. That wouldn’t get us back to square one, because our immune system wouldn’t be completely helpless against a close cousin of a virus it already knew; But statistically, it may cause more infections or new infections.

See also  Anti-masks ready to wear against non-threatening | Science | News | the sun

human factor

Some of the above will also depend on our behavior this winter. “Coronavirus does not jump on planes, cross borders, or go to holiday parties,” Zhang writes. We do. Which is why the human factor has always been, in epidemiology, the hardest part of the equation to predict.

It plays as well as it does the bad way: If the new school year doesn’t cause the new wave we’ve been dreading, it may be because we’ve become more careful, with our masks and social distancing. There were also areas of the United States that were still highly resistant to vaccination this summer, but where the vaccination rate increased in the early fall. In Quebec, the warmest decline was in favor of the human factor: meetings abroad were less risky. The arrival of winter will be the real test.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *