It’s no secret that the Victorian State Government are desperate to stop any further outbreaks of Coronavirus in Victoria. The previous outbreak ended up causing a circuit breaker lockdown which shut all business down for 5 days. A move that devastated some already hurt hospitality venues around the state.
But moving forward the State Government hasn’t committed to allowing international flights back into Victoria, even though it’s almost been a month after that initial lockdown. So why is this? And it’s a subject that is indeed bi-partisan and far more scientific than it’s made out to be.
The answer to the question comes down to the currently mutating strains of Coronavirus internationally and how they’re reacting domestically. Scarily we actually know very little about these mutated strains and in most cases are learning by trial (a move which all states have found at certain points during the pandemic can be fatal).
The problem with these mutated strains of Coronavirus is that the incubation period (the period in which the virus duplicates and grows enough to cause damage to your immunity) has gotten longer with the latest strain of Coronavirus found in the United Kingdom.
Many patients of the disease are testing positive well after the 14-day mandatory quarantine period is up, meaning that we’re potentially letting those cases back into the community without providing the community with protection. Worse still in the past month alone, two other new strains of the virus have been discovered and we know nothing about how either of those viruses reacts in different environments or with different people.
But let me digress for a minute and I’ll explain what a virus mutation actually is. Virus cells (alike our own cells) have DNA. It’s basically a blueprint or plan of what that cell is and it tells the cell how to grow and look. This also mirrors what our genetic material (DNA) is.
Throughout human history, we’ve evolved at different points in history to better adapt to the environment. Webbed feet and fingers, for example, are evident in some prehistoric civilisations which helped those humans swim, in others, it was hair that helped keep those humans warm.
These are what is scientifically referred to as mutations in our DNA, causing our cells to change their makeup. Viruses are much the same. But where our bodies have one purpose in general (to survive) a virus has an entirely different purpose altogether. A virus needs to multiply in order to survive and so it’s purpose is to multiply and grow (using hosts or human and animal bodies to achieve this goal).
Right now, Coronavirus is mutating to infect quicker and get detected later making it harder to stop the virus from multiplying. At a base scientific level, it makes it difficult to identify how quickly the virus is mutating and what mutations are occurring.
This is why until a vaccine effectively eliminates Coronavirus worldwide there will be some pushback from science in Australia but more specifically in Victoria to allow international flights which may bring these mutated versions of the virus within our borders back into Victoria (making it harder to stop Coronavirus from multiplying).