Look, we get it. COVID-19 stole a year from all of our lives, and just when we thought we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the virus mutated several times. And now the newest variant has companies delaying a return to offices and some municipalities considering mask mandates.
In the words of baseball legend Yogi Berra, “It’s like deja-vu all over again.”
We know it sucks, and the temptation to rejoin large crowds and live young, maskless and free is ever-growing. But we can’t let this new Delta variant catch us slipping, lest we find ourselves back in the dark 2020 era. *shudders*
If you’re struggling to understand why you should take this seriously, we’ve broken down the problems with the Delta variant below.
It’s More Contagious
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly warned in an internal document obtained by NBC News and CNBC that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox. According to CNBC's report, the CDC also warned it ”has a longer transmission window than the original Covid-19 strain and may make older people sicker.”
The Delta variant "is more transmissible than the common cold, the 1918 Spanish flu, smallpox, Ebola, MERS and SARS, according to the document," CNBC reported. "Only measles appears to spread faster than the variant."
Being Vaccinated Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Get Sick
Though rare, about one percent of fully vaccinated individuals have contracted COVID-19. According to data collected by NBC News, at least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for COVID-19. Of that total, 1,400 patients have died.
Even a mild case of COVID isn’t necessarily easy to deal with. And it is theoretically possible for vaccinated individuals to become COVID long haulers.
According to the CDC report, the Delta variant also “may make older people sicker, even if they’ve been fully vaccinated, CNBC reported.
Even If You Don’t Get Super Sick, You Can Endanger Others
Vaccinated people have as large of a viral load as those who aren't vaccinated, making it possible for them to spread the virus.
In an interview with NBCLX, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that while it was highly unlikely for a vaccinated person to transmit the original variant of COVID-19, that no longer holds true with the Delta variant. That's because the level of virus in the nasopharynx of someone who's been infected with the Delta variant is about 1,000 times more than someone who was infected with the original virus strain. So even if you might not get very sick or show symptoms at all, you can endanger others, including the immunocompromised and older, more vulnerable people like your parents or grandparents.
Things Aren’t Necessarily Better Now Than They Were Last Year
Yes, you read that right. Though vaccinations have helped keep people who get the shots out of the hospitals, the Delta variant is spreading fast and hospitals in some parts of the country are filling up again with people who haven't been vaccinated. Florida recently recorded its highest one day COVID-19 total since the start of the pandemic with 21,683 more than three weeks since the fourth of July (so we can’t even blame it on a holiday). The state also broke a record for current hospitalizations "set more than a year ago before vaccines were available," according to the Associated Press.
And in the other 49 states, COVID-19 rates have been rising too.
If you're vaccinated and wondering what a case of COVID-19 might look like in a vaccinated person, here are the most common symptoms.