The Delta Variant Spreads. Will It Mutate Gold?

The coronavirus strikes back! It’s bad news for almost everyone and everything… except for merciless gold.

So, were you hoping that the epidemic was over? After all, millions of people got vaccinated, and the economy is booming. Restrictions have been generally lifted, the Fed removed the parts related to the pandemic from its monetary policy statement… why bother then?

The answer is: Delta. And I’m referring to the Sars-Cov-2 variant that causes Covid-19. As you know, viruses mutate from time to time as they spread and replicate. Delta is one of such mutations. Most mutations are not dangerous or even dumb (they weaken the viruses). But the problem with Delta is that it’s “the fastest and fittest” of all coronavirus variants, as the WHO described it. Just think about Rambo on steroids or a witcher that has just taken all his potions. Oh… Anyway, you got the point.

In particular, Delta is much more contagious than the original strain and is spreading about twice as fast. A person infected with the classic version of the coronavirus can spread it to 2.5 other people, while a person with Delta can infect 3.5-4 other people. Delta might also be more severe and more lethal than the original strain.

The good news is that many people have been vaccinated and the vaccines (especially the mRNA-type) protect nicely against Delta. However, the bad news is that many people still haven’t gotten the shots, for many reasons. The tricky part here is that, given the high transmission rate of Delta, we would need 90% or even more people to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, which is still a song of the future.

High transmissibility is the reason why Delta has become the dominant strain in the globe. It also increases the risk of further, potentially even more dangerous, mutations (more transmissions, more chances to evolve into Terminator). In other words, Delta’s fast transmission could reignite the pandemic. As the chart below shows, this is actually already happening.