Virus mutations are par for the course

Virus mutations are par for the course

A new variant of coronavirus has been reported in the U.K., and the rate of contagion has increased by about 70 percent. Viruses are supposed to mutate over time, it is in their nature. Speaking genetically, variations in genes arising from mutations are essential for living things to live and maintain their lineage. Mutations give them a chance to adapt to the environment. Any-way, this is the underlying reason why flu vaccines are also renewed every year.

Not only in microorganisms, but also people have mutations in their genes. Some may be permanent, while others may not be permanent. Mutations that develop with the concern of adapting to nature are called “adaptive mutations.” Wisdom teeth are rarely seen in the new generations. We are not as tolerant of lactose as we used to be. It’s like developing resistance to fever.

Mutation is a natural process for all living organisms. In some living beings, it takes hundreds of years and decades, while for others, a few hours or days are enough. After all, humanity has to deal with a viral epidemic and its mutations at this historical turn.

While most outbreaks end thanks to the adaptation of the causative agent to nature and people, we are living in prediction deadlocks about the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic may end. Some of us say: “The vaccine will end the next pandemic,” but the effectiveness of vaccines in new mutations is a fact that has not yet been investigated.
Some of us believe that we don’t have much to do until we develop an adaptive mutation or resistance to the virus.

Some of us still believe that the virus will gradually reduce its strength in the natural course of the pandemic. Whatever happens, the people around the world are observing some important facts. The most prominent of these is the fact that the pandemic is ongoing, and we have to continue taking protective measures besides increased hygiene awareness. Another fact is that we are at a disadvantage and more vulnerable in these winter months than the past summer or the late springtime when the virus came to our part of the world.
The real and long-term effects of vaccines cannot be known until they are administered, and some time has passed after that. So, we only have one real option, and that is to protect ourselves by taking precautions as much as we can by wearing our mask, maintaining physical distance, and following personal and social hygiene habits. We need to keep our immune system as strong as possible not necessarily with vitamin pills and the like but through healthier diets and exercise.

When we turn our eyes to our country, it is sad to still be in the same place and talk about the same things. It has been repeatedly said that masks and distance rules are not being observed in shopping places. Doctors and health executives, including the minister underlined that there was a surge in contamination. Death figures have reached alarming numbers. Yet many people remain ignorant of the threat, do not comply with restrictions, and talk about individual rights. No one can have a right to endanger the security of other people.

Yes, the virus has mutated. It will continue to mutate. It will never leave us, but one day, virus-human “peace” or “cohabitation” will be achieved in some way. Even if we are vaccinated, we will still need to continue to take the same precautions against the virus next year. If we are really afraid of the mutation and destructiveness of the virus, before we shut down the country completely and go into seclusion, we need to come face to face with reality. The mutation of ignorance has turned into a very serious sick mindset.

Yusuf Kanlı,