Highly contagious COVID variant first found in UK is now in California and Colorado, could change course of pandemic in US

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/30/highly-contagious-covid-variant-first-found-in-uk-is-now-in-california-and-colorado-could-change-course-of-pandemic-in-us.html


God dammit.



Our politicians are blaming the new variant rather than their haste to open up shops and restaurants etc.

I know which I blame.


could change course of pandemic in US

Great, from worse to turbo-worse.


In much of the same spirit as some of the other names given to COVID-19, I’d like to respectfully request we change it’s name, at least for the US, to the ‘Personal Liberties Virus’, or PLV-20.


If you look at the california numbers I’d guess it had been there for a couple of weeks


Oh, for sure. The idea that we caught the first or even twentieth case is absolutely laughable.


Whether or not this B.1.1.7 actually does spread faster, the fact that governments are acting like this is a question of quarantining people from Garbage Island (or, in the case of Garbage Island, from Kent) demonstrates how little some of their policy reactions have to do with science.

There’s little reason to think this variant comes from Garbage Island. It was identified here because the UK does wide-scale PCR testing, and the specific fingerprint used in those tests happens to distinguish this variant (because one of its mutations happens to coincide with one of the sites used in the UK tests). It is likely that it’s also been spreading in places where carriers either weren’t tested, or were tested in ways that don’t spot B.1.1.7 as different from other strains.

Similarly, it is not certain whether this variant spreads faster, or if it simply happens to be the strain that found a particularly rich network of spreaders (I would note here that Kent is the Turmp Country of Garbage Island). There’s been at least one previous new strain that was initially suspected of being extra-virulent, but that turned out to have been a statistical mirage.

Unless I am out of date, all we know for sure about B.1.1.7 is that the UK government’s advisers raised it as a possible concern during a period when they were trying to persuade the government to take the pandemic in general seriously; and the government seized on it as a pretext for their belated admission that actually, no, everyone shouldn’t go visit their families for xmas after all.

If panicking about a new super-covid helps remind people to act like there’s a pandemic, then good. But it’s not good if they go back to thinking “we can fix this by banning international travel, instead of wearing masks and staying at home”. That is definitely not what the data suggests.


Well fucking shit. Does the new vaccines still work against it?


Feels like from day one too many people have been talking about how this will be a quick pandemic and not the multi-year marathon anyone looking at a history book would see it to likely be. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but buckle up if you hated 2020, you’ve got a lot to not look forward to in 2021.

I’m also cutting down on cigs with the hope of quitting in the next month or so. I was at nearly a pack (20 cigs) a day and down to 3-4 a day now so I’m well aware that I’m also being a bit of a Grumpy Gus. Just need to get my boss to let me take a couple days off around a weekend so I can be out of the office for a few days when I finally cold turkey this habit. The first 24 hours aren’t bad but the 2nd and 3rd day are the ones that really turn me into a irritable POS. Don’t worry I plan to stay off of message boards during that time or I’m pretty sure I’d be banned from every site for being a world class troll.


Good luck to you / Break a leg. Whatever works. We won’t judge (too harshly).

I mean it.


they don’t know for certain, but fauci and other peeps say most likely the vaccines still work. while the mutation is in the protein spike that the mrna vaccines target, they don’t think the variation is large enough to matter for the immune response.


and citizens defying restrictions

:arrow_up: This is what I think is the main issue in both US California and Mexico’s Baja California.



It’s a pretty good bet that it’s already just about everywhere here in the US. For some reason, North America has been sequencing far fewer covid genomes than the UK.


This is an important point – there are a couple of ways this could have happened and one could be the “founder effect”

Imagine that we identified the particular mutations of the coronavirus Trump got. Then we looked at all the republicans who have gotten sick over the past few months, sequenced their infections and found they match. They all match! This must be a new virulent strain! Nope, it is just a random mutation that happened to find its way into a box of idiots.

The study out of the UK does try to take this possibility into account, but the apparent effect is not super strong, and the surge in cases in both the UK and the US also coincides with a bunch of businesses re-opening including indoor restaurants and bars, schools which opened with varying degrees of precautions, the US thanksgiving holiday where huge numbers of people traveled and went to large family gatherings, and cold weather making people close doors and windows and spend less time outside. So even if the study holds up and this variant is in part responsible for the rapid increase in cases, it had plenty of help from humans.


Re: Masks



Has there been much found about the South African variant? I heard that it exists, but basically nothing about what makes it different, only that the covid situation there isn’t going well at all.


“Just 2.1 million people had received their first dose as of Monday morning, far short of the 20 million goal.”
Brought to you by the Party which sees government as a victim to be drowned. Who could have foreseen this?


How dare you refer to this Septic Isle, this Dummy Paradise, this Green Unpleasant Land, as Garbage Island?! It is GB, Garbage Bin!