Just as the vaccine rollouts and recent second-dose administrations were starting to offer us a glimpse of hope, news of mutant novel coronavirus strains with greater transmissibility began sending people back into the state of panic they were in only one year ago.
While some countries that take this seriously are entering strict lockdown conditions, experts are reassuring everyone that it is common with growing families of viruses for first-born strains to get jealous after seeing the fear they once struck into our hearts now given to newer stains.
“We spent an entire year obsessing over SARS-CoV-2, so it’s understandable how upset it gets seeing everyone freak out over a new strain like B-117, for example,” shared Amanda Fried, an infectious disease expert at Emory University. “I mean, we used to call it a novel virus for a reason.”
In addition to reassuring everyone that no strain can carry a mutation catastrophic enough to nullify the immunity granted by vaccines and antibodies, scientists and psychologists are urging the public to remain cautious of the amount of fear we are giving each strain, emphasizing that we don’t want earlier variants to envy how terrified we are of younger, more entitled mutants.
“This happens with the influenza virus too,” added Dr. Fried. “No matter what, we should always be scared shitless of what comes next.”
Oftentimes the arrival of a new strain creates unfamiliar stress to the original viral strain, manifesting in the form of jealousy and odd behaviors for attention. Instead of reacting with anger, experts believe punishing original strains can lead to greater feelings of distance from newer coronaviruses.
“What’s important is that they spend time together, say, for example, playing hopscotch with each other around the world,” shared evolutionary biologist Carla Heffner at Yale University. “Understand that this is a popular rite of passage all novel coronaviruses go through and you aren’t a bad viral host for how it reacts. Sometimes, it’s the people that are weird.”