October 14, 2021 Editor

What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us

Viral evolution is a long game. Here’s where scientists think we could be headed.


Oct. 12, 2021

image above: Bianca Bagnarelli

WN: The article lays out well several scenarios.


Viruses are replication machines, hijacking our cells to make copies of their own genomes. Sometimes they make small mistakes, akin to typos, as they replicate.

Most of the time, these errors have no benefit for the virus; many are harmful and quickly disappear. But occasionally, a virus hits the genetic lottery: a mutation that confers an advantage. This fitter version of the virus can then outcompete its peers, giving rise to a new variant.

The coronavirus could shift in countless ways, but there are three concerning possibilities: It could become more transmissible, it could become better at evading our immune system or it could become more virulent, causing more serious disease.

SARS-CoV-2 has already become more transmissible. “The virus is just better at transmitting from one person to another than it was in January of 2020,” said Jesse Bloom, an expert in viral evolution at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “And this is due to a variety of mutations that the virus has acquired, some of which we understand and some of which we don’t.”

Please click on: Future of Coronavirus and Us

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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