Linda Huang / Edge columnist
With the gradual warming of the weather, winter, the high-incidence season of the COVID-19, has gradually passed. Nonetheless, with the coming of spring break, the third wave of COVID-19 has arrived with stronger variants.
As reported in Bethany Lindsay’s article “B.C. confirms 3rd wave of COVID-19 has arrived, as the number of patients in ICU hits record high” in CBC News, “Another 3,289 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in B.C. and 18 more people have died, while the number of patients in critical care with the disease has risen to a record high.”
The tremendous number of new COVID-19 cases was brought into the attention of citizens. The third wave has come with different kinds of powerful variants. The two major ones that are affecting our country are P.1. (from Brazil) and B.1.1.7 (from the UK) variants, which can invade the human body faster and damage their health system at different levels.
People need to stick to their immediate neighbourhoods to help bring the third wave under control.
“About 50 percent of the province’s cases now involve variants of concern,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said in Bethany Lindsay’s article in CBC News. Needless to say, those new variants are trickier than the normal COVID-19 virus, and it’s affecting people at an unexpectedly fast speed.
Similar reports stated in Rachael D’Amore’s article “P.1 variant is spreading in Canada. What do we know about it and vaccines?” in Global News, “the rapid spread of P.1 variant in British Columbia has added new urgency to the race between variants and vaccines. Cases have surged from double to triple digits.”
This variant suddenly started raging in Canada, especially in the B.C. province. It was first identified in Brazil, which was more transmissible and capable of evading prior immunogenicity, and could reinfect people who had previously been infected with the original, or “wild,” type of COVID-19.
It’s worth mentioning that even though people in their 60s and 70s are more likely to have a critical illness, younger people are as effectively concerned to be affected by the variants since they haven’t had chances to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, “the P.1 variant causes more significant worth disease in younger people. It causes worse outcomes and increases hospitalization,” said Hinshaw in D’Amore’s article in Global News.
To reduce cases relating to COVID-19, public places including shopping malls and restaurants should be shut down to prevent unnecessary contact between people. Transmissions are more likely to occur in situations like workplaces because of the social interactions between workers. Therefore, reinforcing appropriate flow restrictions should be implemented effectively.
Moreover, schools should consider a better way to educate instead of having face-to-face classes. Even with the blended portion, gatherings of students after school hours are inevitable since public gatherings with small groups are still available. This can greatly increase the possibility of variant infection among young people.
The third wave is looming, people need to take effective actions to minimize the transmission of the virus.