THE COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT

The new COVID Omicron Variant has much of the world in a panic. Just when we thought we had a handle on COVID up pops a new variant.

According to multiple reports, what is scary about Omicron is its high level of transmissibility. It was only identified as a new variant in late November, and it has been spreading twice as fast as the Delta variant. In the US the first documented case appeared in CA on December 1, and already it has spread to some 30 states. Early data has been incomplete and, at times contradictory. For example, the CDC has reported that approximately 3% of COVID cases are of the Omicron strain. However, Jeremy Luban, a virus expert at the U Mass Chan Medical School puts the number at 15%. In any case, the Delta variant is still the predominant strain extant.

Dr. Jacob Lemieux, an infectious disease expert at Mass General Hospital, has reported that the variant has been spreading “faster than than the most pessimistic predictions among medical experts.” He added, “it seems to be happening every place at once.”

AOL News reported that during the past week there were an average of 118,000 new infections per day. According to Lemieux hospitals and medical staff, which were already stressed by high amount of Delta cases, are being overwhelmed.

The only saving grace is that so far Omicron appears to be less lethal than Delta. However, medical experts caution that it is still early. It is not clear whether that is due to the strain, itself, or because so many people have already been vaccinated. According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC “more than 200 million” Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID. Moreover, some 60% of seniors, the most vulnerable group, are triple-vaccinated. Most medical experts, including Drs. Walensky and Anthony Fauci, agree that vaccines have been providing “some protection” against the new variant. This opinion is supported by anecdotal evidence.

CONCLUSION

In my opinion, we are going to have to learn to live with this virus for many years, if not permanently. I predict that every so often a new strain will come along. This sounds scary, and maybe it is to some people. But, in my view, this scenario is not much different than the seasonal flu, which we have learned to live with. Students of history know that, prior to the advent of antibiotics the flu was a very deadly disease with a much higher fatality rate than that of COVID. Entire families would often catch it from each other and die within weeks of each other. Not to be morbid, but one can see the sad, poignant record of this on tombstones in old cemeteries.. There was no prevention, no cure. You either caught it or you didn’t, often purely by chance. You either died from it or your body fought it off and you recovered. Often, the result was arbitrary, without rhyme or reason.

Personally, I see no need to panic. As I said, the evidence has shown that those who are fully vaccinated, follow the recommended medical protocols, and are in generally good health should live their lives without fear. Even if you get COVID the fatality rate has been roughly 2%, and that includes the unvaccinated and at-risk groups. At this point, the medical community knows a lot more about treatment than it did when the pandemic started. Plus, many therapeutic options are now available that have been effective against the disease.

Some medical experts have been advocating to pump the brakes on Christmas holiday gatherings. Furthermore, many people are still afraid to travel. Some people have not visited family or friends, eaten in restaurants, gone for routine medical tests or treatments, or attended sporting events or the theatre in two years. In my view, that is no way to live. Don’t listen to the bloviating, know-nothing “experts” on tv. Many of them don’t know any more than you do.

In addition, many of them don’t even follow their own rules. We have seen several examples of politicians and other prominent people, eating in restaurants without wearing a mask or adhering to social distancing protocols. It’s “rules for thee, but not for me.” Furthermore, would someone please explain to me why our leaders impose draconian restrictions on us and then turn around and let hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated illegal migrants enter the US without being tested or vaccinated? On what planet does that make any sense?

The hell with that! Aren’t you sick and tired of being told what to do by people who are dumber and have less common sense than you do? I am. This is America. Sometimes, our leaders seem to forget that and need to be reminded of that fact. I say, unless, you have a debilitating underlying medical condition or a compromised immune system get out and live your life. If you have any doubts consult your doctor.

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