I’ve seen reports that in England there’s a variant of the Covid virus that is more easily transmitted.
That reminds me a couple things. First, there’s no guarantee that a mutation won’t make Covid more deadly. I’ve seen claims that that’s how viruses work–that they gradually become less lethal. However, that’s an wishful thought and not proven. There’s not a biological mechanism to guarantee that.
More ominously, the vaccine may select for variants that are able to infect vaccinated people. Just as antibiotics select for bacteria that become super-bugs, a vaccine could select for changes that make the vaccine quit working.
The reason for caution is that each new case of Covid can create mutations of the virus. Some can’t spread or don’t matter, but some could become clinically relevant. When there are hundreds of thousands of new cases each day, it increases the chances for a bad outcome.
It’s a reason to block transmission as diligently as possible. One never knows if a case, even those that are asymptomatic or mild, will become one that reignites the pandemic.
Having a vaccine is definitely not a reason to become complacent. Or think one can quit the hard work of the past 12 months. There seems to be a path out of the woods, but it’s not behind us.
Every case is another roll of the dice. One never knows if the virus will roll Yahtzee.