Marvel Comics specializes in mutant superheroes, from Hope Summers and Wolverine to Iceman and Storm. They're only scary to the bad guys.
Mutant viruses, on the other hand, are more troubling — and we know COVID-19 is mutating.
These mutations include the British variant (officially called B.1.1.7), the South African strain (B.1.351), the Brazilian one (P.1), and as of this writing, mumblings about a home-grown American mutation in New York City (B.1.526).
These variants may become harder for your immune system to detect or to attack. And they may make the infection more easily transmitted or more severe.
The good news is that some of the current vaccines knock out some of the mutations. Correspondence in the New England Journal of Medicine says that the Pfizer vaccine neutralizes both the British and Brazilian strains, and is nearly as effective in countering the South African one.
And Moderna announced it is shipping a vaccine that is tailored to knock out both the original and South African strains.
Down the road, some people may need booster shots (no big deal), but as we get to 80%-90% vaccination rates, the virus will be less likely to mutate because it will be reproducing less.
So where does that leave you if you've been vaccinated or are thinking about getting vaccinated?
Feeling delighted you got a vaccine or committed to getting one ASAP.
Also, following social distancing rules, wearing a mask when out of the house, and washing your hands frequently. That's really no strain at all.