What’s Going On With COVID-19?
An update on the coronavirus in America: new rules, the Mu variant, and gorillas.
By: Keelin Ferris | September 13, 2021 | 594 Words
Nearly two years after the first COVID-19 cases were discovered, the virus is still affecting America and the world. So, what’s the latest news on the pandemic?
More than 40.6 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. Around half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated – over 177.4 million Americans.
Back to School Decisions
Kids across the country are returning to school. Since pupils got back in the classroom, they have made up one-quarter of weekly COVID-19 cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some students have to wear masks, while others don’t, depending on state and local guidelines.
Right now, kids under the age of 12 are not permitted to get the vaccine. The earliest those young children can get the vaccine will probably be winter. President Joe Biden is adamant about getting all Americans vaccinated, but will he force students to get the jab to go to school?
A New Variant by the Name of Mu
Viruses often mutate, creating different versions. The Delta variant of the COVID virus has been active in the United States for quite some time, but a new variant is here to steal its spotlight. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Mu variant is a new version of the virus. It seems COVID-19 vaccines don’t work very well against Mu. Further research is needed to get more information.
A small number of people with the Mu variant has been detected in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The Delta variant is still dominating the U.S., making up nearly all current cases.
Winter Brings Worries About Flu
As temperatures drop and fall begins, flu season appears on the horizon. What will happen when the two viruses collide this winter? What will this year’s flu season look like? It is impossible to predict. Moderna, the company behind one of the U.S.’s vaccines, is trying to be proactive. It is developing a single-dose vaccine that will knock out two birds with one stone, or in this case two germs with one jab. The dose will be a booster against the coronavirus and influenza (flu) virus.
Forced Vaccines? States Vs. Federal Government?
President Joe Biden recently made new rules to force millions of American employees to get vaccinated. There may be a legal battle coming soon, since some state governors and members of Congress have suggested the new rules are outside the president’s power.
Meanwhile, Florida has also been arguing with the federal government – over mask mandates. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says students mustn’t be forced to wear masks at school, while the U.S. Department of Education says districts should be able to make rules forcing kids to wear masks.
Overall, there are lots of disagreements about how much freedom people should have when it comes to health.
Gorillas Can get Covid?
The Gorilla Care Team at the Atlanta Zoo noticed appetite changes, blocked noses, and coughing from several apes. Some gorillas tested positive for COVID. It is unclear how the animals were infected by the virus, since visitors are normally too far away to be the culprits. The infected gorillas are receiving the best care possible and are expected to make full recoveries. The other gorillas will be given antibodies to fight the virus. Zoo Atlanta announced it will regularly test the apes.