more early takes on omicron variant
reports from SA indicate that the virus is VERY mild
it’s rush week here at omicron mu gamma!
aside from all the breathless reporting about “MOAR SPIKE MUTATIONS!!” i have yet to see a single report with any actual clinical evidence that the newly branded omicron variant is anything other than less dangerous than delta was.
it’s just, to steal a wonderful quote “mutational stargazing.”
this makes sense. not only are we continuing to evolve AWAY from an what looks near certain to be a lab engineered virulence optimum, but this is the natural path of viral evolution.
delta was a deeply attenuated version of prior versions. it’s original CFR was around 0.1%. this rose sharply over the summer as vaccine fade hit and this rise affected the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike, so it appears to be a property of the virus, not of the vaccines. it was also mirrored by all cause mortality and so appears to be a real rise in fatality, not a definitional artifact.
i will still bet dollars to doughnuts that it was the vaccines themselves that, by being leaky but semi-protective, drove this inverted gradient to hotter strains.
full discussion and data HERE.
a virus “wants” one thing: to spread. make a copy of me and pass it on. that’s the whole ballgame. harming the host and incapacitating them is maladaptive to this goal. mild viruses spread better. asymptomatic viruses spread best of all.
and that looks more and more like the case here. omicron looks milder than delta, especially than the souped up delta strains that emerged over the summer.
this is good news, not a reason for terror. the ideal outcome would be a virus with no symptoms and infinite spread that would immediately inoculate everyone.
primary symptoms appear to be lethargy. loss of taste and smell is largely absent.
as this virus looks to outcompete delta, but with lower risk, the idea that we want to keep it out seems exactly wrong. this is the variant you want. more spread, considerably less risk, mostly asymptomatic, but will generate the real, sterilizing immunity that the vaccines do not.
this is how pandemics end, not how panics should begin.
watching the west once more lose its collective mind is just pathetic.
based on the early looks, this is not even a chipmunk in the road to swerve around, it’s the shadow of a chimpunk and it’s a less dangerous strain that the one we currently have and another even lower risk bite at the immunity apple.
whether it will follow delta in terms of vaccine mediated evolution toward hotter future strains is anyone’s guess (and certainly possible) but if it is, indeed, destined to do so, then that’s all the more reason to let it spread now.
“we should panic in case it turns out we need to panic” is simply not a basis for public health.
pandemics can and do end themselves and it’s become manifestly obvious that the vaccines developed here and pushed endlessly as panacea are of little to no help in that regard and quite a strong case to be made that they have made it, overall, worse for everyone, including the vaccinated.
boosters, lockdowns, and travel bans are not the way out. the generation of low risk natural herd immunity is.
it is long past time we stopped playing these stupid games.
the prizes we stand to win are not going to get any less stupid this time…