Two years ago, the world was forced to a standstill by a pandemic that left scores dead and changed the pattern of life. It’s been two years and the virus is still very much around, this time around with multiple variants. “Are we fighting a losing battle against the covid 19 virus and will the vaccine protect us against the variants?” These are questions that we can’t answer for you but here is everything you need to know; 1. The symptoms for the virus remain the same; fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste and smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, isolate and get yourself tested. 2. The delta variant peaked late June last year, it is currently the predominant variant in the US. It causes twice as many infections and spreads faster. The variant causes severe illness in unvaccinated people. It was also noticed that fully vaccinated people can spread the virus to others, though they appear to spread it for a shorter time. The major risk remains the unvaccinated individuals. 3. The omicron variant was first identified in Botswana and south Africa in November last year. It was classified as a variant of concern by the WHO and there’s still a lot to be learnt about this variant but here’s what we do know; the variant spreads faster. 4. A new variant has been discovered in France just as the celebrations of the new year fades out. It’s been dubbed the IHU variant and according to the WHO, is not a threat yet as it has been on their radar or a while now. 5. A total of 8 variants of the covid 19 virus has been discovered; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Omicron, Lambda, Mu and IHU, but only delta and omicron have been linked to high infection rates around the world. Despite the variants and high infection rates, we are still confident that we can beat this virus. The safest bet is to get vaccinated. The vaccine gives you a fighting chance against covid. Always remember to mask up and stay safe.