Darwinian Selection and Award

Lockdown has failed: let’s have ever more lockdown! Much of the world – including Blighty – has gone mad.

Today’s news: it’s confirmed “the new strain” is indeed spreading a lot faster than its predecessor. A moment’s reflection suggests the hypothesis: is this Darwinian natural selection in action? “Social distancing” and isolation has reduced the virus’s opportunity to propagate, so a strain that better overcomes those limitations is thriving in the environment we’re giving it.

Similar story to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterial nasties, albeit happening faster.

How would we be able to test how similar bugs – not least common cold coronaviruses – react to social distancing? I suspect a new and much more infectious strain would go unremarked, perhaps even unnoticed!

Oh, and the figures telling us the vaccines are unexpectedly much more effective than the ‘flu jab. Could that be because they’re new, and the coronavirus has not yet adapted to them as flu viruses have? Perhaps the ‘flu jab is a better guide to a future steady state.

Can we have a societal Darwin Award for societies that are getting the worst of both worlds: stopping normal life including much of the economy, yet failing miserably to stop the virus spreading? Though come to think of it, Blighty has a much stronger and also-very-topical claim than any mere virus to a Darwin award.

And, erm, happy new year. Don’t breathe, don’t hold your breath.

Posted on January 1, 2021, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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