Everything We Know About the Delta Variant of Coronavirus

When the Delta variant struck India, it caused record numbers of infections. Hospitalization rates skyrocketed, oxygen was in high demand, and there weren’t enough beds to accommodate everyone who became ill.

After the wave hit India, it went on to impact the world. Infection rates rose sharply even in countries with robust vaccination programs.

While you give your immune system a boost with Apricot Power and Irwin Naturals, please remember to consider vaccination as a tool to help you and your family get through this pandemic as safely as possible.

Facts About the Coronavirus Delta Variant

1. The Delta variant is more contagious than the other coronavirus strains. That’s why it spread around the world so quickly. By the end of July 2021, it accounted for about 80% of all new cases in the United States.

2. Although all people have a small risk to consider, vaccines limit the issue significantly. Individuals who haven’t received their COVID vaccine are 2.5 times more likely to become infected by this coronavirus variant.

3. The transmissibility of the Delta variant is so high that it could lead to numerous local outbreaks. It can skip from one poorly vaccinated area to another, especially since vaccinations in children under 12 haven’t come close to reaching goals.

4. Breakthrough cases happen, but it often creates less severe symptoms when it does.

We have a lot more to learn about the Delta variant. Until these issues get under control, the best option for everyone is to mask up, get vaccinated, and maintain social distancing. 

How Coronavirus Spiraled Out of Control in India

It seemed like India had COVID-19 controls in place that limited the spread of the coronavirus. While the United States, Brazil, Italy, and other nations faced staggering infection and death numbers in 2020, the country of more than one billion people was barely a blip on the radar.

That changed in 2021. While other developed countries were distributing vaccines, India started begging for basic health supplies.

At the peak of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, India topped out at nearly 100,000 daily cases. On April 27, 2021, over 360,00 cases were reported. The crisis was past the scale of anything the world had ever seen.

During that fateful last week in April, over 1.8 million new COVID-19 cases were registered. Health experts believe that the actual numbers were probably twice that amount.

What Caused the COVID-19 Spike in India?

Although the scale of the April outbreak in India could be driven by a more transmissible version of the coronavirus, several other factors create a perfect storm for infections to rise.

About 40% of the households in India have a multigenerational structure. That fact alone increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

India also has chronic underfunding of its healthcare system, which is only 3.5% of its GDP. France spends about 11% in comparison, while the United States reaches close to 20% in some years.

There was also a recent religious holiday where people came out by the thousands to celebrate. Many of them didn’t take personal precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It would be fair to say that there are equal parts of incompetence and complacency when looking at how India ran into this crisis. People ignored the warning signs, and the government didn’t take steps to mitigate the issue. Leaders even said on April 17, just ten days before the massive infections, that they were pleased to see large crowds.

As of May 31, the number of new cases was down to a 7-day rolling average of 175,000.

North Korea Will Skip the 2021 Olympics

According to a state-run website from North Korea, the government is deciding to skip the 2021 Olympics that Tokyo is hosting in 2021. The official reason for dropping out for the first time in over thirty years is the coronavirus, but it might be an issue that runs deeper than the virus.

In the past, North Korea used global sporting events like the Olympics to create diplomatic opportunities. The goal was to create sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear disarmament, which now cannot happen since they’re choosing not to participate.

That’s why some analysts think that the decision is more of a message to the Biden administration than an issue with COVID-19.

It’s Not the First Time North Korea Has Taken This Action

In previous years, North Korea boycotted the Olympics and other international sports events for political reasons. It has sometimes decided not to attend or support the global athletics community when no one qualified to participate.

It is the first time that the North Korean government has cited an infectious disease for deciding not to participate.

The government has the reputation for withdrawing from talks or political discourse, only to return at the last second to enhance its bargaining power. Since the nation has been on high alert to prevent COVID-19, this step might be a permanent one.

Without any healthcare infrastructure to support the general population, North Korea has had to take draconian steps to prevent the spread of the disease. That includes preventing foreign nationals from leaving while having a 15-month closure of its international borders.

With little movement on nuclear talks, Biden has already said that North Korea won’t get the same attention as it did with the Trump administration. That meant they’d leave Tokyo empty-handed, so there is no purpose for their attendance.

Continued domestic challenges might change that perspective in the future.

Current State of COVID Strains: Is There Any Reason to Worry?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the virus behind COVID-19 keeps going through mutations. This behavior is normal, but it also creates problems for those seeking to find a solution to get society back to some semblance of normalcy.

Although several COVID strains are circulating, only three of them have authorities concerned. That’s because the virus seems to have adapted its protein spikes to make itself a more infectious agent.

The three strains under investigation are B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1.

Another variant found circulating in New York City and California is called B.1.526. Its infection rate is under investigation as well, offering a unique set of changes that could pose antigenic challenges for the current therapies being deployed.

Why Are the Variants Concerning Researchers?

As medical authorities research the shifting coronavirus mutations, including the UK and South African variants, they have noticed that transmissibility changes are taking place.

With the California variants labeled B.1.427 and B.1.429, a mutation that lets the virus bind to human receptor cells with greater ease makes it easier to catch COVID-19.

This issue might be part of why the United States continues reporting over 50,000 cases per day. In February 2021, over 500,000 deaths had the coronavirus listed as a contributing factor, with about 30 million total cases recorded.

Although the vaccine makers can insert the new genetic materials into the inoculations they distribute, Pfizer and BioNTech are looking at the idea of a third vaccine dose to trigger an additional immune response.

Since ongoing mutations could make the virus deadlier than it is now, the race to get everyone vaccinated is underway. Most global governments’ goal is to have the majority of adults receive both shots by the fall.

Until everyone gets their vaccines, people must follow today’s best practices to prevent transmission. That means social distancing, wearing a facial covering, and limiting indoor contact with others.

What Steps Is Europe Taking to Battle COVID Resurgence?

When the United States started taking action to battle a COVID resurgence, it became a patchwork quilt of regulations and restrictions. Each state had a different approach to preventing the coronavirus from spreading over the winter months.

In Europe, the approach was a little different. Most countries adopted temporary rules that would halt the spread of the coronavirus with common-sense decisions.

There were local curfews implemented, alcohol bans, and restrictions on indoor social gatherings.

When the UK recognized that a new variant was more contagious and potentially deadlier, they put in the strictest lockdowns that matched what people experienced in March and April 2020.

We Are in a Race to Vaccinate

Global stories of rising infection rates show how critical the need is for us to find a vaccination protocol that works. Although the UK was the first western nation to start an inoculation program, the rest of Europe fell far short with ordering bottlenecks and global production shortages.

With 1.8 million people dying from COVID-19 in 2020 (and potentially many more who died from undocumented circumstances), we cannot afford to let a resurgence continue.

Each holiday creates a sharp rise in infections and deaths as people gather and the virus spreads. In Thailand, a single outbreak at a seafood market led to a countrywide spread that affected 53 of the 77 provinces.

The coronavirus moves fast. When French police booked hundreds of partygoers at an illegal rave, the risk for more infections was massive.

Even when there are outdoor environments involved, close contact can still create COVID-19 problems. Dozens of infections are directly tied to the January 6 insurgence at the US capitol building, for example, and similar issues have crept up in Europe.

What can you do to ensure that you’re staying in the fight against COVID-19? You can eat healthy foods, take your supplements daily, and keep wearing a mask.

What Do We Know About the New COVID-19 Strains?

All viruses mutate. Scientists expected that the new coronavirus would change and adapt to the environment as it got opportunities to explore.

The problem with viral mutations is that the process can be unpredictable. If something happens that makes COVID-19 more transmissible or deadly, it could impact how we can manage the disease.

It also changes how the developed vaccines work against it, although the mRNA sequences are still relatively the same

Three Variants Have Scientists Sounding Alarms

We know of three coronavirus evolutions that have changed the way we respond to COVID-19. The first one happened in May 2020, which is the D614G variant. This change made the coronavirus more transmissible to others, although the death rates remained relatively constant.

The second variant is called B.1.1.7, commonly referred to as the “UK variant” in the press. Research suggests that this evolution not only makes the virus more contagious, but it could also be deadlier. Vaccine producers have enough concerns about it that they’re proposing a third booster might be necessary to provide enough protection.

A third variant is called B.1.351, which is often called the “South African variant.” It is more contagious, but it might have the same fatality rate among those it infects.

Additional variants in Ohio and Los Angeles have also been identified, with research exploring ways to treat these options.

What Will the Vaccines Do to the Variants?

The vaccine producers are not overly concerned about the different mutations they see in the coronavirus. Since they can quickly change the mRNA sequences that trigger an immune response in the body, it won’t take nearly as long to develop counter-agents against each new evolution.

What you might eventually see in a COVID-19 vaccination is a series of mRNA sequences for each variant that gets delivered all at once. For now, you’ll need to keep wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and take care of yourself to prevent these variants from spreading.

Fauci Suggests COVID Might Be Under Control in 2021

When the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed in the UK in December 2020, the world realized that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. All of the sacrifices made in the previous nine months seemed to be coming to an end.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has advocated for social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic. When it became clear that COVID-19 spread primarily through expelled droplets, he encouraged facial coverings.

Now, Fauci says that the pandemic can get under control by the second half of 2021 if enough people are willing to get vaccinated. That means manufacturers must make the doses widely available, which could take several months.

How to Manage COVID Before the Vaccine

Until you receive the COVID vaccine, Fauci says it is essential for you to continue proactively mitigating your exposure risks. You can accomplish that outcome by following these simple steps.

1. Limit the amount of time you spend with others outside of your household when you cannot be outside.

2. Wear a facial covering whenever you cannot be at least six feet apart from others, including outdoor venues.

3. Take care of yourself by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. If you have any deficiencies, they can be corrected by taking products from brands like Host Defense and Premier Research.

4. If you need to leave your home for work or essential supplies, only send one family member to acquire items. Everyone else can stay behin

5. Use your garage, mudroom, foyer, or entryway as an “airlock” to prevent COVID-19 from coming into your home. When someone returns from work or running errands, have the clothing stay in this spot, wear a facial covering upstairs, and take a shower immediately.

6. Don’t share utensils, glasses, dishes, or anything else with other family members.

The backside of 2021 is the target day for a return to normalcy. If we all do our part, Fauci believes that this timeline is realistic.

State of Coronavirus Globally at the Start of 2021

When the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in Washington State at the start of 2020, the idea that the world would take on two extended lockdown periods and three infection surges seemed unlikely.

What would follow would be several months of uncertainty, unemployment, and life-changing circumstances.

As the world enters 2021, hope is on the horizon. Pfizer and Moderna have developed COVID-19 vaccines with over 90% efficacy ratings, creating the idea that we can all return to some level of normal at some point during the year.

We also have several challenges to meet, which means you must still take care of your health. Having your shelves stocked with products from brands like Douglas Laboratories and Amazing Grass to keep your immune system strong can help during this historical moment.

1. Some People Can’t Take the Vaccine

Although the adverse reaction rates are low with modern vaccines, there is always the possibility of an unwanted outcome when getting this shot. Some people have allergies to the ingredients that make it challenging to receive the necessary dosage. That means the individuals in this group may need to limit their social activities until 2022 – or later.

2. Some Vaccines Require Multiple Doses

Pfizer’s vaccine offers an excellent efficacy rating, but it also requires two doses to be effective. The company reported that they have the capacity to produce 1.3 billion does in 2021. That means this product will be available to about 650 million people – a far cry from the billions globally that need it.

3. Shipping Issues with the Vaccines

Although Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t require extensive freezing arrangements, Pfizer’s must be kept at exceptionally cold levels during transport and storage. That makes the logistics of receiving one quite difficult. Although front-line workers should not have issues accessing this product, it could be problematic for the average family trying to get back to normal.

There is still a lot of work to do in 2021 to manage COVID-19. If we don’t want a repeat of 2020, it is up to all of us to be healthy, stay safe, and take care of those around us.

UK Crashes Into Deepest Recession of Any Major Economy

Although the United States saw a significant decrease in economic output during 2020’s second quarter, the UK experienced an even worse outcome.

The economy’s output shrank by over 20%, making it the worst quarterly slump on record in history. Although the COVID-19 pandemic drove the results, it is still the deepest recession of any major economy.

Although the US experienced a 31.4% drop in economic activity, that figure was only a 10.6% drop than the GDP. 

France and Italy both suffered over 15% drops in relation to the second quarter of 2020. The cause for these massive declines involves the dependence on retail and services in those economies.

Why Did the UK’s Economy Decline Steeply?

The issue with the UK’s financial results involves the lockdown length imposed on people. Most businesses were stopped from providing services or selling goods for the entire quarter.

Although the United States had a lengthy lockdown period that started in March, different states took unique approaches. Some of them barely put in any restrictions, while others used significant lockdown measures to restrict movement.

The states that followed the UK’s approach are seeing similar problems with their economy.

Even when comparing Italy to the United Kingdom, restaurants, cafés, and hairdressers were allowed to reopen in May for Italians. It wasn’t until July 4 that those in the UK could do the same.

Germany faired even better because it allowed car dealerships, bike shops, bookstores, and other businesses to reopen as early as April 20.

Since the restrictions were lightened, the UK economy saw an 8.7% increase in activity from the previous month. It’s a start, but more needs to be done to rescue people trapped near the poverty line.
Although the UK economy expects to recover, a fast response is not likely. Another wave of COVID-19 cases, shedding almost one million jobs, and slow Brexit negotiations threaten to make a 10% contraction for 2020.

What to Stock Up on Before a Winter COVID-19 Resurgence

When lockdown orders started getting implemented in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, shoppers began stocking up on emergency supplies. The first items to leave store shelves involved paper products and toilet paper.

This activity was quickly followed by rice, beans, oatmeal, lentils, and similar pantry staples.

With the world gearing up for a winter resurgence of COVID-19, mixed with a bit of influenza, now is the perfect time to start stocking up on things.

You’ll want to grab those pantry staples now. Having an extra package of toilet paper wouldn’t hurt. Any medications you may need should get restocked, including prescriptions that are necessary for your health.

Once you have those items, considering adding these additional things to your list.

1. Health Supplements

Many people use supplements to get the nutrients they need for good health. Stocking up on items from Desbio, Numeria, and Neuroscience to ensure you have enough for up to three months can get you through potentially challenging times.

2. Diapers

If you have a little one at home, stock up on diapers. Get some wipes while you’re at the store as well, since those disappeared after the toilet paper.

3. Hand Sanitizer

You couldn’t find hand sanitizer on most store shelves for over a month after the pandemic hit. Once the products started coming back, you were paying double or triple the price for the same item pre-pandemic. Stocking up now ensures you won’t get caught in similar circumstances.

4. Frozen Vegetables

Canned goods disappeared quickly when reports of food chain shortages hit the news in April. Grab some frozen veggies now to keep in your freezer. They’ll stay good throughout the winter.

5. Canned Fruit

Fresh produce disruptions made it challenging to find some fruit items in some stores. Stocking up on canned varieties ensures you have a long-term food solution to maintain.
What you don’t need to grab is bottled water. You can get everything you need from your well or municipal supply. If shortages do occur, shop local to support farmers and growers in your community – or plant a garden to get what you need!