omicron in denmark looking exceedingly mild so far
spread of this variant looks to have strongly attenuated the risk trends of the pandemic
also included in the new danish reports is hospitalization data for omicron. i’m honestly not sure how good it is or how complete, but if it’s anything like correct, it’s very good news.
we see 17,659 omi cases recorded so far. (also note, this data, even by date, looks to be changing in later reports. i think they may be backfilling/backsorting it.)
and 35 hospitalizations
35/17,659 = 0.2% case hospitalization rate. that is VERY low. it’s about 80% lower that the case hospitalization rate i observed from delta variant in the UK. (1.03% overall)
presuming these are roughly comparable and this danish data is sufficiently meaningful, this is a very positive indication. this drops omi into line with a low end flu.
on a society scale as omi takes over prevalence, we see this, a number much lower than last year and possibly peaking.
to my knowledge, there has yet to be a recorded omi death in denmark.
this divergence is striking. last year’s death peak was late january, this year, it peaked on dec 1st, just as omi really started to spread and has been in decline as reported cases have surged.
this leads to the interesting question of “are cases really surging?” because as longtime readers will recall my obsessive refrain (still, alas, largely unheeded) is sna shall remain, “reporting cases without reference to testing level is tantamount to lying.”
there is no way to discern a rise in sample rate from a rise in disease prevalence. test any group twice as much, find twice as many cases.
(this is why testing the asymptomatic is an inherently stupid and counterproductive process, especially using overclocked high Ct PCR)
and sample rate clearly exploded vs sept. that’s going to have dramatic effect on the curve.
so let’s dig into that:
cases are higher than last year, but not by nearly the tripling the raw data implies. it’s more like 32% higher. so this is more spread, but not the wild jumps being discussed.
deaths, of course, look to have peaked at ~2/3 lower than last year.
using this testing adjusted case level, i then calculated sample rate adjusted case fatality rate.
CFR is notorious for dropping when you test more (esp in the young and healthy like students) and failing to control for that leads to all manner of data slant.
as can be seen, CFR is low and dropping.
CFR also has intense (and expected) seasonal swings. comparing it season to season is generally the most illuminating tactic.
note the strong divergence (since dec 1) from seasonal rise pattern since last year.
some may be tempted to ascribe this drop to “vaccines” but this does not look terribly persuasive to me.
we had them all season, and ramp up was looking pretty typical. in fact, 2021 was running ahead of 2020 and had higher deaths than prior year.
then, omicron started to surge and deaths peaked early and began to drop sharply during a season when rise would be typical.
hospitalization looks similar (though is a more fraught series and is lagging on reporting)
we are also NOT seeing this abatement trend in the US northeast where hospitalizations and deaths are still rising (and setting new records well in excess of last year in ME, NH, VT.
were this drop driven predominantly by vaccines, one would expect it to have been prevalent all season and in all highly vaccinated locales. but it is not.
the danish attenuation looks to be a function of omicron spread.
this is, counter to widespread hysterical narrative, absolutely fantastic news.
that would mean covid is going endemic and mild. it’s the classic COV evo pathway toward becoming another common cold: a thing we cannot get rid of, slow, stop, prevent, or otherwise affect (apart by being healthy ourselves) but also that is smoothing we have lived utterly normally with for centuries and need not upend the world over.
it means we don’t need lockdowns, mask ups, or vaccine mandates, all of which pose large costs and have provided little or no benefit.
outcompeting other variants and having mild or no symptoms is the win state for a selfish gene. it’s the point a virus “seeks” due to evolutionary pressure.
it’s also a win state for humanity. this is how pandemics end.
continuing to swerve around a chipmunk in the road as though it were some sort of phantasmagorical lovecraftian horror will accomplish nothing but needless damage.
the omi data at this point supports nothing of the sort.