“SARS-CoV-2 could always pick up a mutation that could just change the game,” Pardis Sabeti, a Harvard computational geneticist explains in this video exploring the basics of how viruses evolve as they infect more people. Sabeti and others use math and genetics to monitor new variants and provide insight into viral origins and spread.
“One of the things that a lot of people feel complacent about is that [Covid-19] seems to affect people that are mostly elderly … or, you know, mostly not them,” she says. “But at any point this virus could change and affect them. It can become more lethal. It could become more lethal to our children. It can evade our vaccines. And so it’s one of those things where you just don’t want to give it a minute to change in a way that’s particularly bad.”
It’s clear, she says, that “the best thing we can do is to get the infection rates to zero so that the virus has no opportunities to mutate and change.”
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