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The road to herd immunity from the coronavirus suddenly looks longer. The emergence of more transmissible, potentially vaccine-evading variants threatens to extend the global health disaster and make 2021 feel too much like 2020.
A complicated mix of good news and bad news makes any forecast for the coming months fuzzy. But scientists have one clear and sobering message: The pandemic is a long way from over.
The mutation-laden variants are on the move, and that includes one first identified in South Africa and confirmed in a Baltimore-area adult, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Saturday. It was the third known case in the United States of the variant, following two cases announced Thursday in South Carolina. The person in Maryland had no travel history, which is evidence of community transmission.