Recent research shows that the COVID-19 coronavirus has mutated. The mutation contains more spikes by which the virus enters and infects healthy cells than the original variant. Also the “backbone” which holds the spikes together has become sturdier as well.
In the “real world” we see evidence of this in that the countries that are currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, are surpassing countries that surged earlier in total confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The below graph details this phenomenon for the few countries that have experienced the most confirmed COVID-19 cases over the time period: mid-March through the end of August 2020. I intend to update this graph semi-monthly.
Note: The data used below are from worldometers.org and are as reported at the time, which may or may not represent the situation on the ground faithfully. What's more, historical data have a way of changing as folks discover anomalies and errata. I have made little effort to revise historical data.
In spite of these drawbacks, I suspect that the graph below strongly supports the findings that the COVID-19 virus has mutated and has become more contagious. I suspect it also supports the findings in a companion article that COVID-19 was originally a disease primarily of wealthy countries and has since spread into less wealthy countries.
Readers who like children's literature might find the addendum below the graph amusing.
Addendum: (Strega Nona and the Magic Pasta Pot)
In one of my sillier moments, I thought to name this article after Strega Nona's Magic Pasta Pot.
Well, the graph does look a lot like rainbow-colored spaghetti. And twice a month when I add new strands for countries that have found their way into the top ten in numbers of COVID-19 cases, it looks even more so.
But, let me tell you about Strega Nona and her Magic Pasta Pot.
Strega Nona was a witch; but she was a nice witch and liked to help the townfolk out. She could cure almost anything that ailed you; and if you were having trouble finding a spouse, she would find you the perfect mate. She also had a magic pasta pot. All you had to do was say the right verse and the pot would make you all the spaghetti you could eat. Then there was another verse to stop the pot; but you had to blow three kisses to the pot when you said it.
Strega Nona had a helper, a young lad named Big Anthony who weeded her garden, cleaned her house and milked her goat.
One day Strega Nona went out visiting and left Big Anthony in charge, with a warning not to touch her magic pasta pot.
Well, I bet you can guess the rest of the story. As soon as she left, Big Anthony started up the magic pasta pot and invited the whole town for supper; but when he tried to turn the pot off, he forgot about the three kisses; and soon the spaghetti was flowing down the road and covering the town.
Fortunately Strega Nona returned in the nick of time and turned off the magic pasta pot before the town was buried in spaghetti. The townfolk wanted to beat Big Anthony; but Strega Nona insisted that the punishment must fit the crime. She handed Big Anthony a fork. “Mangia, Antonio, Mangia!” Big Anthony had to eat all the spaghetti.
As I add more and more strands of spaghetti to the graph, I wait for Strega Nona to return. Gee, I sure hope she comes back soon, before we all drown in spaghetti.