On November 5, 2020, the United Kingdom went into lockdown in an attempt to control a spike in COVID-19 cases. If you look at the charts overall, the lockdown seemed to work. However, infections in Kent, an area outside of London, were still rising.
Soon, researchers realized that in Kent, the virus itself had changed. It was a new variant.
Lately, more and more COVID variants are emerging around the world. So why are they showing up now — and what does this mean for a possible end to the pandemic?