A sneaky new offshoot of Covid has officially reached Britain’s shores; the proposed autumn booster program has been brought forward for the 19% of the UK’s population that is aged 65 and over.
Given that the government has moved boosters to the front of the business que following the news that 28 residents of the same Norfolk care home had tested positive for the new strain, there is a palatable sense of worry about this new strain of the virus that plunged us into a global lockdown among the British public.
The new variation nicknamed Pirola has started bubbling up in Covid test samples, though the number of confirmed cases remains low. But if its rapid march across the globe is any indicator, we could see more of this sub-variant soon.
What do we know about this new Covid mutation? Experts say Pirola may transmit 10% faster, which means it could infect more people far more quickly than its parent strain did.
As Winter and the new variant are on their way, the NHS is set to contact over 65 and the most vulnerable and at-risk public members about their Covid boosters. While the NHS’ advice is still the best protection against Covid, there is a small risk that the Pfizer and Moderna boosters could cause inflammation of the heart muscles and that the former can cause a severe allergic reaction. And in some extremely rare cases, the AstraZeneca vaccine created lethal blood clots.
And that’s where the problem lies. What happens if the new variant worsens, leading to increased hospitalisations and even deaths? What if you or a member of your family ended up as part of the small percentage that succumbed to the side effects of the booster?
During 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, there was an effective and simple crutch to lean on while the virus wreaked chaos throughout the country. According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), the life insurance industry paid out £550,000 a day in Covid-related claims, which provided a small modicum of financial security and safety for the bereaved.
And while there was a dramatic upswing in the number of people taking out life insurance policies during and in the aftermath of the pandemic, the global financial crisis led to millions of people cancelling their policies in the wake of the news that the “pandemic” was over. But what if, as the emergence of Pirola might suggest, we’re in the eye of the Covid hurricane, and another pandemic is just around the corner?
Simple precautions like wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces, testing when symptomatic, and isolating while ill can also curb these strains’ spread, but it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry, and the best way to secure your family’s future against the possibility of another Covid storm is with the ultimate safeguard of life insurance.
David Brewer, the co-founder and CEO of Protect Line, one of the UK, said: “Covid changed the world that we live in, and as it mutates and evolves, it’s up to each and every single one of us to ensure that we can, and will, do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones and put the safety and security of our families first.”