Caution is key in order to combat the new COVID-19 variant


William Kraft

Media by Billy Kraft

Sadie Springer

I am of the opinion that Illinois, along with many other states, are opening up and dropping COVID-19 precautions too quickly. Cases continue to rise, as the more contagious B-117 variant of Coronavirus, has become the dominant strand in the US. 

“The country’s daily rate of new Coronavirus cases rose over most of the last four weeks. Part of that is due to the spread of B-177 and other concerning variants,” said director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky according to CNN. 

This variant is significantly different from the original strand of COVID-19 because it seems to be taking more of a toll on younger people. A substantial amount of youth and young adults are getting severely ill and hospitalized. 

“Clusters of cases in daycares, as well as school sports particularly teen sports which people engage in close contact without masks. I think that is what is explaining these surges of cases in young individuals, ” Dr. Anthony Fauci explained to CNN. 

People may argue that with the vaccine being administered to so many people, the virus will gradually disappear. But with the new variant, it seems that this may not be as easy as we may have thought. 

“It’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase,” Fauci said according to CNN

This is extremely daunting, because the amount of people getting vaccinated will need to continue to increase substantially in order to avoid a fourth surge with the UK variant. As of April 12, anyone over the age of 16 can have the vaccine in Illinois, which will hopefully combat the recent surge in positivity rates.  

“I actually think we’re in the middle of a fourth surge right now,” a CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen said.

With numerous city officials around the US removing mask mandates, and other precautionary measures, I feel it gives the public the wrong message. Our neighboring state, Indiana, has dropped their mask mandate as of April 6. Other states like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and many others do not have a statewide mask mandate. 

“Now is not the time, as I’ve said so many times, to declare victory prematurely,” Fauci said. 

We must proceed with caution. I understand that we have to start somewhere, and that the pandemic has lasted long enough. But, I think in a way, we are trying to open up so quickly that it just might damage our progress in the long run.

I think the key is taking baby steps, rather than opening everything up the second the numbers are below a certain point. When removing precautions too early, especially with the new, more contagious variant, we have to be diligent. The last thing anyone wants is to go back into lockdown.