The Delta Variant: How much should we worry?


Minh Le, Reporter

18 months. That’s how long we’ve been in a pandemic. First there was the original Covid-19 that kicked off this long quarantine with multiple new mandates and requirements. And just when most thought that it was dying down, this new mutation of the virus has pulled us back into the loop. For the last few weeks, Covid has been slowly rising again. Though it isn’t close to the large spike at the end of 2020 and early 2021, it has been going up since the dead period of June and July.
There are many differences when it comes to the original Covid 19 and the newer Delta variant. In a study performed by the CDC, the Delta variant was more than 2x as contagious as its predecessors. This is a big concern for unvaccinated people because they are more than 29x more prone to getting infected. This newer version can cause more severe illnesses that may or may not result in death. In the study, the CDC found that the vaccines were not 100% effective but they provided more protection from death and serious illness from Covid.
This is a major concern for the nation because many children are being affected by this new variant on a wider scale than before. According to the CDC only about 49% of all adults in the US have been fully vaccinated. This is concerning for many because kids under 12 who cannot get the vaccine are more likely to get Covid from unvaccinated adults than vaccinated ones. In an interview made by NPR with Dr. Roberta DeBiasi, she has said that “what we’re seeing is that the children that are hospitalized are, for the most part – and adults as well are, for the most part, people that are not vaccinated, whether that’s because they’ve chosen not to be vaccinated or if they are just in an age group that has not yet had access.” Dr. DeBiasi is basically saying that if everyone who can get vaccines gets them, they can help slow down the virus from spreading faster than it already is.
In an article made by NBC News, an unvaccinated teacher in California showed symptoms of Covid came to school and “occasionally read aloud to students while unmasked, despite school requirements to mask while indoors, according to the report.” Out of the 24 students in the class, 12 kids got tested positive and all of them were ineligible for the vaccine due to their age. This incident has had many parents on edge because many school districts in southern states have also not required a mask requirement for their students and faculty.
In another interview made by NPR on August 23, Dr. Andy Little of Advent Health reveals to NPR’s Leila Fadel and Allison Aubrey that due to the surges that were rising, the hospitals have become full and the emergency room was overwhelmed by the amount of new patients and many who were not vaccinated. He stated, “ Probably a third of the patients will say, is there a way I can get the vaccine now? And then we have the discussion that, you know, that isn’t how vaccines work. And they are overwhelmingly upset. They’re upset knowing that this was preventable, that if they had just gotten their shot, maybe this wouldn’t be as bad, maybe they wouldn’t have to stay in the hospital.” Charlotte Hobbs from the University of Mississippi Medical Center said that of “the children who are admitted to the intensive care unit, the majority of those children are right now on ventilatory support” and that more and more children who were previously healthy at one point, have now been coming in with a more serious disease.
Once more adults and young adults get fully vaccinated, we can start to slow down the infections and deaths happening worldwide. And hopefully, we can move back into a normal lifestyle.


Acevedo, N. (2021, August 29). Unvaccinated, unmasked TEACHER spreads COVID-19 to elementary school students, CDC reports.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Delta variant: What we know about the science. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fadel, L., & Aubrey, A. (2021, August 23). Accelerated by the delta variant, new covid-19 cases are rising. NPR.