B.1.1.7 may affect end of school year

Emily Mullins, Managing Editor

In 2021, the cases of COVID-19 are still high, and people passing away to the virus is still detrimental to society. Recently, a woman in Washtenaw County tested positive for a new strain of the virus, called “B.1.1.7,” that came from her visit to the United Kingdom (UK). According to freep.com, the new strain seems to be “about 50% more transmissible, or able to spread 50% faster.” As of recent, 13 student athletes were infected at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with B.1.1.7, four people in Wayne County, and as of Feb. 7, one in Kent County, and also Kalamazoo, most of them having traveled internationally. While cases are still going up, B.1.1.7 has been in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Connecticut, Tennessee, and now Michigan. People are saying that it can be a serious threat by March, because of the way the virus is able to spread faster and easier to others. The fast spread means that there could be another potential “shut-down” and kids would end up being virtual for their last couple months of the school year.

Freep.com also stated that Michigan health chief Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the vaccines for the original strain seem to work against the new one and stating they have not seen the new version of the virus be more deadly than the original. They are hoping that if enough people get the vaccine, the disease will die out and go dormant. Even with several new strains to COVID-19, officials recommend people continuing to do their part, and if you do travel internationally, they recommend going to get tested when you return, so Michigan does not skyrocket in cases and a relapse occurs.

“I feel like it would be easier considering some of my classes are pretty tough and I also wouldn’t have to get up in the cold every morning to go to school,” senior Briana Moe said.