From Monday 17 May, all venues that sell food and drink will be able to entertain punters once more. Of course, there will still be mask-wearing and social distancing still, but that is to be expected. Many are glad we can sit outside such places again, and, understandably so. This virus has taken a toll on the population of this country in terms of death, infection, mental illness, etc.
Just as the sun appears to be rising with the ending of most restrictions on June 21, the Indian variant raises its head. The variant first noticed in India, (which has killed and is killing thousands in that country), is of increasing concern in this country, too.
Places like Bolton, have seen rises in that particular variant of COVID. Bolton is one of many towns and cities across England that have significant Asian populations. It is possible, that people returning from India, may have carried the virus back with them before India was put on the red list of nations, (the government's traffic light system in establishing, which country, is hosting the most dangerous variants of COVID). Asian people also, generally, co-habit in the same house with families living together. This could also, increase, the rise of the Indian variant. Essentially, helping the Indian variant to rise, which could impact surrounding non-Asian populations.
SAGE - the body of scientists who advise the government on the pandemic are meeting today, on the subject of the Indian variant. SAGE will then advise the government on their findings and the course of action, they would advise, the government to take.
Regardless, of how, the Indian variant will impact us, COVID infections and death rates are at their lowest since last August. Boris himself has said that there is "increasing concern" about the Indian variant, however, and this variant could "pose a potentially lethal danger".
The European Medicines Agency has stated that current vaccines are, effective, even against the Indian variant. Many British scientists also echo, the views of the European Medicines Agency, agreeing that the Astra-Zenica, Pfifer, Moderna and other vaccines give sufficient protection against the Indian variant.
It is reported that, the common side effects of in particular, of Pizer and Astra-Zenica are chills, headaches, fatigue, and are mainly shortlived. This information was provided in the publication 'The Lancet'.
In the age group 55 - 65, infections have dropped right off, thanks mainly it is thought, to the success of the vaccine roll-out and take up of the jab. Of course, despite the reassurances of the European Medicines Agency, the Indfian variant must be of concern to SAGE, because otherwise, why would they be meeting today?
It is to be hoped, the current vaccines are enough, to stem the tide of the Indian variant. Indiividuals, groups, organisations, businesses, etc, will want to life to return to as normal as possible. One thing is for sure, whether the Indian variant or any other variants for that matter, affects Boris' roadmap to freedom, (as he calls it),or not, COVID is not going anywhere soon.