FYI, we don't know with high confidence whether the new UK [or South African] virus strain is more contagious. But it seems very plausible. It's also quite plausible that this strain is already in other countries too - the UK does better monitoring than most places. The vaccines are here. Be safe till you get yours. Meet friends outdoors if possible.
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).