To the editor: The emergence of virus variants is not an inevitable misfortune. This is predictable. As Dr. Anthony Fauci said, this virus can only mutate if it replicates. (“California’s strain of coronavirus looks increasingly dangerous:’The devil has come.'”)
Our country’s approach to this pandemic is what I call the “constant temperature policy.” If the hospitalization rate and mortality rate rise, we will lock in. If prices continue to rise, we will open up. This is how the thermostat works and its function is to keep objects warm.
We don’t want to keep the virus warm. We do not want the mortality rate to remain at a satisfactory level. What we have done is to provide enough replication opportunities for the coronavirus, so there are now many new variants, some of which are more infectious and lethal than the previous ones.
In order to get rid of the virus, we have successfully used smallpox to successfully kill the virus. It is necessary to lock this virus ruthlessly for a period of time until a typical infection occurs, and then prepare for vaccination and isolation near any epidemics around the world . This must be done for every new variant that may be resistant to the vaccine.
Fortunately, decades of development in molecular biology now allow us to design a new vaccine within a few weeks, but the time required to test, produce and dispense the dose is still months, so we must get rid of this as soon as possible. Viruses are not easy. However, loosening the lock every time things cool down makes the situation worse.
Brent Mikel, Camarillo
To the editor: So far, SARS-CoV-2 variants are more easily spread, more lethal, and may be less susceptible to immune responses stimulated by vaccination. At this rate, it is only a matter of time before the development of a variant of the virus that has these characteristics and is more lethal to people under the age of 50.
In the United States, there are an average of 70,000 new cases per day. This number recently increased the lockdown in July last year, providing plenty of room for the virus to mutate and recombine into more dangerous variants.
We are in peace when the next wave of more dangerous viruses arrives.
Mark Tracy, MD, Carlsbad
To the editor: The article about California’s pressure is unbalanced and therefore misleading. Its alarmist tone attracted people’s attention at the cost of responsible notification.
As mentioned above, since September, the new strains have accounted for “more than 50% of all coronavirus samples in the state that have undergone genetic analysis.” It is likely to contribute to the upsurge of autumn and winter.
But now this situation has been achieved. The replication rate of the virus in Los Angeles County and Orange County is approximately 0.6 new cases per infected person, which shows that the speed of transmission is slowing rapidly. The same is true in other parts of the state.
In other words, despite the emergence of new strains of the virus since September, the pandemic in California is still fading.
The quoted levels of neutralizing antibodies that failed to fight the virus in the test tube did not explain the role of T cells in immunity, and ignored the extremely low number of reinfections among the millions of new strains infected, which are further examples of this situation. The article is incomplete.
The empirical evidence speaks for itself. Although the new variant has been circulating for several months, the cases and transmission rate plummeted due to the immunity to the vaccine and the continuing infection.
Michael Brant-Zawadzki, MD, Newport Beach
To the editor: Obviously, the cup in The Times is empty. Your article did not use the fear caused by the absolute worst-case report, nor did it bring any help to Los Angeles, including a famous quote by a researcher who said: “The devil has come.”
Further in-depth studies have shown that the vaccine’s efficacy against the California variants is only moderately low, and their efficacy has not been quantified. This sounds completely destined to me.
“Mr. Fashion” magazine specifically quoted the “Times” report in its article: “We need to prepare for the good things that may happen.”
William Goldman (Palos Verdes Estates)
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.