The UK variant B117 was first noticed in early December. It became major news by mid-December and several countries shut down travel links by the 20th. By that date, it was already in at least 33 countries (now in 81). We desperately need more sequencing and better monitoring.
I am not an expert on Covid, viruses, or vaccines, but I am a scientist with relevant training. I believe we have a responsibility to clearly communicate science to the public, especially in emergencies. So I started to write summaries of Covid developments on facebook in March 2020 to help friends and family understand the situation as it unfolded. This is an archive of those posts (created much later).