Panic takes another turn
Everyone knows that virus mutate.
Scientist reported, in July 2020*, that the SARS CoV-2 virus, now a.k.a. the “COVID-19 virus”, had mutated to a possibly more contagious strain. This was also reported in media in July.
Nobody panicked from hearing this news. Not until December 2020 when Imperial College informed Boris Johnson that “there were mutants”. New travel restrictions and lockdowns ensued, and a new and inappropriate term was coined in media: “COVID-19-mutant.” (Obviously, a disease cannot mutate. It is the virus SARS CoV-2 that has mutated.)
“A SARS-CoV-2 variant with Spike G614 has replaced D614 as the dominant pandemic form. The consistent increase of G614 at regional levels may indicate a fitness advantage. 614 is associated with lower RT PCR Cts, suggestive of higher viral loads in patients. The G614 variant grows to higher titers as pseudotyped virions.”
(Virions are minor pathogens from a virus that do not have their own protein core.) https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30820-5
This text below is not scientifically verified. You may want to check for yourself. Good sources to start from might be: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-diseases/viruses/and https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/factors-allow-viruses-infect-humans-coronavirus/
There are millions of types of viruses in the environment. Several thousand have been described in detail. If you want to know some of them by name you can see them here: https://talk.ictvonline.org/taxonomy/ If you want to know which ones are really dangerous, read here: https://www.livescience.com/56598-deadliest-viruses-on-earth.html
It is difficult for human consciousness to grasp viruses as a concept. According to an estimate, there are approximately 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria on Earth. (30 zeros) The number of viruses is even larger. Perhaps ten times.
According to another source there are up to 1000 trillion, i.e. 1000 000 000 000 000 of viruses in just one human body. It is also said that one teaspoon of seawater contains about ten million viruses. They come in many different sizes but are obviously all small. It is said that if you put them in one line, a line one centimetre long may contain hundreds of thousands of viruses.
So, there are lots of viruses around, most of them are harmless, many of them are necessary for our survival (really) and a few are really dangerous.
All these figures may be wrong, but the take-away is that there are more viruses around than we can possibly fathom.
As a final word of consolation: That a new mutant sparks an outbreak is extremely rare because very many factors must accidentally coincide.