There are just a few hundred known cases of the new omicron COVID virus variation, but to hear the media talk about it, you would think we are all doomed.
Fear mongers are already using this new variation to urge people to get vaccinated or get boosters. But early reports show that many (or even most) of those infected with omicron are vaccinated. If the current vaccine is not effective against this mutation, then why bother to get vaccinated?
What makes this hullabaloo even more ironic are reports COVID cases caused by the omicron variation are milder than delta and other variations and no hospitalizations have resulted from it. One South African doctor reports he has not seen it bring the lack of smell or taste commonly associated with COVID. Some mutations in omicron may benefit patients when compared to the original illness or the delta variation.
At the same time, there are reports that the omicron mutation may be even more highly contagious than Delta. But if it is both more contagious and causes fewer symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths, then this could signal the beginning of the end. We want a mild variation to supplant a more deadly one, especially if it gives you antibodies that minimize the danger of other variations. Of course, it is too early to know for sure, but too many headlines are predicting the worst. This might be a good sign. This might be an important step on the way to COVID becoming no worse than the flu.
Only in New York
It may be 8,000 miles from New York to Johannesburg, but that hasn’t stopped New York Governor Hochul from declaring a State of Emergency because of omicron. Why let a good crisis go to waste? No one in New York has yet to get sick from the new variation, but her order allows hospitals to postpone elective surgery so they have room to treat all those non-existent patients. It will also allow her to implement more shutdowns and mandates.
Jumping on the state of emergency band wagon that early is just further proof that science has nothing to do with the restrictions and rules related to COVID. It’s all about control.
It’s also about money. According to NPR, “Vaccine makers are already pivoting their efforts to combat the new variant.” A new vaccine means billions of dollars for pharma companies. They will not miss that opportunity.
What to do About Omicron
I recommend following the advice you’ve seen the T-shirt: keep calm and carry on. This is a rerun, nothing to get alarmed about. We’ve been there, done that.
Monitor it. See if the early evidence is correct and it proves to be milder. If not, use your own judgment. If you want to buy a few more packs of toilet paper or another canister of antibiotic wipes, be my guest. It can’t hurt.
I’m better prepared than I’ve ever been. If you’re reading this, hopefully you are too. If not, what are you waiting for?