The virus wants to be caught. Becoming easier to catch seems an obvious response to whatever we do to stop ourselves catching it.
Hard-to-catch strains die out; the easy variants live long and prosper.
I speak from ignorance, of course. I was reading about the so-called D614G mutation (so-called because that’s what it’s called; as I said, I speak from ignorance) which is all about a change to the “spike protein” whereby the virus, er, impales the cells it wants to infect (see above re: ignorance).
I remember once trying to get a tangle of little green weed-seeds out of a dog’s ears after a country walk. Burrs. I know all about things getting hooked on and not wanting to come off.
Anyway, D614G is the new easy-to-catch version of Covid-19. While we’ve been locked down, the virus has been sharpening its spike proteins.
And now we’ve come out into the open.
Central government is urging us back to work and offering us incentives to go out to lunch.
Oh, and the virus has sharpened its spikes.
But hey – the sun’s shining and the shops are open and that little café has put tables out in the open.
Central government really wants us to get back to work and then take a long lunch-break. So let’s grab a table under the trees and celebrate the end of the lockdown.
Except – Melbourne, Australia locked down again; Leicester, UK, locked down again; various pubs in the UK that opened at the weekend – closed again.
All along, the most striking feature of this virus, for me, has been how well it knows us.
No, not quite that – how well it adapts itself to us. It’s not “meant” exactly, but it fits in spookily well with the way we behave.
We hid. The virus seemed to go away. We came out of hiding and started to talk about how we could go back to making taxable money.
Still no sinister rustling in the undergrowth – we started to use phrases such as “after coronavirus” in our speeches.
But mostly, we just settled in cosily to policing each other’s mask-wearing. Relaxed our social distancing and joined the crowd.
We came out of hiding, and we got accustomed to being out of hiding, and let’s just suppose that we began to ease off on our precautions.
Do we really need these fiddly masks?
The ten-second rule applies to snogging as much as to dropped food, doesn’t it? I mean, mmm, the thirty-second, mm, two-minute rule. Nothing infectious there.
I suspect that the virus is giving us time.
It hasn’t been defeated. It’s waiting for us to get complacent, and while it does that, it's gone South for the Winter.
Stock up on essential supplies while the sun shines.