We don’t pretend to be experts in biology — and maybe we’ve been watching too many science fiction movies these days — but the ability of the COVID-19 virus to mutate (or shape-shift, in the lingo of sci-fi fans) in order to make itself both more transmissible and more evasive of vaccines makes us wonder: Does COVID-19 possess intelligence?
If COVID-19 has a brain, it clearly has a much-higher IQ — and more common-sense — than the large number of human beings who refuse to get vaccinated and who do not take precautions to avoid the disease.
New statistics reveal that the death rate has risen particularly sharply for middle-aged white people. COVID-19 now accounts for a much larger share of all deaths for that group than it did before vaccines were widely available. To paraphrase the motto on New Hampshire license plates, some people choose to live free — AND die,
There always will be a certain number of humans who do stupid things every day that result in their own deaths — and those who are unvaccinated by choice fall into that category.
But in most places, the unvaccinated thankfully represent a small minority of people.
On the other hand, the new Omicron variant is sickening even those who are vaccinated at a rate much greater than at any time since the start of the pandemic. Up until the past few weeks, vaccinated persons were told they could feel fairly confident in the immunity supposedly conferred by the vaccines.
While it may be true that vaccinations still are hugely successful in limiting the number of deaths and serious illnesses requiring hospitalization, Omicron has upended the best-laid plans of even the most-cautious and health-conscious among us as we try to return to normal life.
The onslaught of the Omicron variant has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives, from travel to schools.
So does COVID-19 have a brain? Who knows?
But what we do know is that no matter what we throw at it, COVID-19 always is one step ahead of us.