Omicron Variant: Here We Go Again!

 

No one — I mean no one — is going to put me through the fear and misery of the last two years with COVID-19. Fortunately, I live in Florida, and we’ve watched Gov. DeSantis behave like a mature and wise adult regarding the virus. But once again, panic reigns as another variant shows up on the scene. And one state and most definitely the federal government can’t wait to pass more draconian measures supposedly to protect us.

When the announcement first came from South Africa about the new variant, called Omicron, the scientists emphasized that data was limited:

Health officials in South Africa said the reaction by other countries was premature, given how little was understood yet about the new strain. [Professor Salim Abdool] Karim noted that it was only detected thanks to South Africa’s excellent scientific surveillance of COVID-19 cases, which specifically hunts for new variants. Few other nations have such a robust genomic sequencing program to find the strains.

Surprisingly, the World Health Organization showed some sanity in its response:

But despite the World Health Organization’s call for ‘a risk-based and scientific approach’ as it urged nations not to adopt travel restrictions yet, some countries decided not to wait for the detailed scientific analysis. Britain, France and Israel have cancelled direct flights from South Africa and surrounding nations.

And, of course, the mainstream media couldn’t wait to publish the most frightening news they could possibly create:

A potentially dangerous new strain of the coronavirus is alarming scientists around the world and prompting governments to ban travelers from southern African nations. The variant was first detected in South Africa, where scientists were quick to flag it to the global health community.

As CBS News correspondent Debora Patta reports, there’s serious concern among experts that the new strain could set back the fight against the pandemic.

These reactions were based on only 100 cases in South Africa.

One day ago, however, the South Africans provided an up-to-date and less hysterical perspective:

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a practicing doctor for 30 years who chairs the South African Medical Association (SAMA), said she believed she had found a new strain of the virus after COVID-19 patients at her private practice in Pretoria exhibited strange symptoms.

‘Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,’ Coetzee told The Telegraph . . .

‘It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,’ Coetzee told the paper. ‘So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.’

Joe Biden, who accused Donald Trump of racist motivations for closing our borders against the coronavirus, may be doing the same thing on Monday against some African countries.

And we can count on New York to lead the way with a panicked approach:

There have been no confirmed cases of the new variant in the United States yet, but officials believe it may already be here. Two cases have been confirmed in the United Kingdom, which joined the US and European Union in issuing travel restrictions.

On Friday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency and put a temporary halt on all elective surgeries in anticipation of hospitalizations.

What do you think will be happening in your local communities and your state? Will governors wait for more information, or will they compete for the panic prize? Will school boards react and will the unions demand action, even if the science says to take a wait-and-see approach?

In other words, will the power brokers go for more power and expect citizens to submit?

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I remember when the Left lost its collective [expletive] quite early on last year when Donald Trump said that there really isn’t any way to stop a virus from spreading and mutating, and that–eventually–we were going to have to accept that and find a way to live with it.  (He was heavily promoting the vaccination research at the time, and was by no means standing still, but the Left went bat-guano crazy.)

    As any sane person could have predicted, he’s been proven right over time, but it seems that those are in love with their new-found power and regulatory authority are in no hurry to ease the restrictions.

    Susan Quinn: What do you think will be happening in your local communities and your state? Will governors wait for more information, or will they compete for the panic prize? Will school boards react and will the unions demand action, even if the science says to take a wait-and-see approach?

    PA governor Tom Wolf is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist who did his part to infect as many nursing home patients as he could in the early days of the pandemic.  (This was when Madam Admiral Undersecretary “Rachel” Whatzits was moving her own mother out of one to keep her safe). So I expect PA to make a move on its citizens shortly.  Glad I’m out in the relatively sparsely-populated sticks where what happens in Harrisburg doesn’t weigh much with people.  I expect the teachers’ unions, and others who found themselves paid their full salaries during lockdown  to start kicking up a fuss shortly.  Why wouldn’t they?

    I hope that by now, or in the very near future, enough people will have had enough of being treated like rats in a maze, where the treat at the end of it constantly being moved, and no matter how compliant they are or how fast they run, every path is a dead-end.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    She (View Comment):
    As any sane person could have predicted, he’s been proven right over time, but it seems that those are in love with their new-found power and regulatory authority are in no hurry to ease the restrictions.

    There needs to be major pushback, but I’m not sure how that could happen. Just refuse to comply when you’re told to? I don’t have answers for those outside of FL.

    • #2
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Rational, reasonable discussion of the new variant.

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kozak (View Comment):
    Rational, reasonable discussion of the new variant.

    Words of wisdom–how refreshing! Thanks, @kozak!

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    She (View Comment):
    As any sane person could have predicted, he’s been proven right over time, but it seems that those are in love with their new-found power and regulatory authority are in no hurry to ease the restrictions.

    This is it. We need our American people to recognize this. We have wasted the better part of two years and we need to stop it. Democrats under Marxist influence pass up no opportunity for a power play.

    • #5
  6. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Good Post, Susan.

    Kozak, the highest rates of infection around the world correlate with those places with  the highest  vaccination rates. These “vaccines” are not working and they are killing or maiming people. Taiwan has experience more deaths from the “vaccines” than from COVID.  These “vaccines” which are not vaccines at all and do not protect you from the virus. That is clear. Even Bill Gates admits that. The four people infected with “omicron” were all vaccinated. 

    Why not  try the antibodies approach instead?

    I smell a rat with this supposedly incredibly destructive Omicron scare. From Sundance at CTH:  

    “The variant has only produced mild symptoms in regional patients with very little impact.

    JOHANNESBURG: “The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus results in mild disease, without prominent syndromes, Angelique Coetzee, the Chairwomman of the South African Medial Association told sputnik news on Saturday.” … “We will only know this after two weeks. Yes, it is transmissible, but for now, as medical practitioners, we do not know why so much hypeis being driven as we are still looking into it.”

    From Zerohedge:

    “Contrary to the panicmongering unleashed by western mainstream median, Barry Schoub, chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, told Sky News on Sunday that while South Africa, which first identified the new variant, currently has 3,220 people with the coronavirus infection overall and while the variant does appear to be spreading rapidly, there’s been no real uptick in hospitalizations 

    “The cases that have occurred so far have all been mild cases, mild-to-moderate cases, and that’s a good sign,” said Schoub, adding that it was still early days and nothing was certain yet.

    Most importantly, and running counter to the fearmongering narrative being pumped out 24/7 by the mainstream media, Schoub said that the large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain.”

    While South Africa, where the Omicron strain first emerged in early November, has been hit with a number of travel bans from the U.K. and other nations, after its scientists found the mutated variant last week, since then a growing number of European countries, along with Australia, have also identified people infected with the variant.

    “In a way, hopefully it won’t displace delta because delta we know responds very well to the vaccine,” he said.

    At the same time, one could make the point that while Omicron could soon become the dominant strain due to its higher R-nought (or pace of transmission), that could be a blessing in disguise as it pushes out the much more dangerous (and more stable) delta strain.”

    “It wasn’t just Schoub seeking to taper the fearmongering: Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, agreed with Schoub’s assesment calling symptoms associated with the variant at this point “different and so mild” compared with others she’d treated for the virus in recent months.”

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Great comment, Unsk. I did cover some of this in the post.

    • #7
  8. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Let Biden know. Him and the Governor of New York look a little silly now. Perhaps I would have appreciated Biden’s caution had he not flagged his predecessor for racism due to similar actions and concerns.

     

     

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris O (View Comment):

    Let Biden know. Him and the Governor of New York look a little silly now. Perhaps I would have appreciated Biden’s caution had he not flagged his predecessor for racism due to similar actions and concerns.

     

     

    For some strange reason, Biden was going to stop flights from Africa, but others convinced him to wait until Monday. Can we hope that maybe they realize that their extreme reactions were detrimental? Probably not . . .

    • #9
  10. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    She (View Comment):
    PA governor Tom Wolf is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist who did his part to infect as many nursing home patients as he could in the early days of the pandemic.  (This was when Madam Admiral Undersecretary “Rachel” Whatzits was moving her own mother out of one to keep her safe). So I expect PA to make a move on its citizens shortly.

    Fortunately the voters of PA have made that harder for him:

    Pennsylvania voters revolted against Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, permanently stripping him of some of his emergency powers last week.

    On Tuesday, Pennsylvanians approved two proposed amendments to alter the state constitution and restore power to lawmakers. The first amendment allows the Pennsylvania General Assembly to terminate a governor’s emergency declaration by majority vote, while the second requires that executives seek legislative approval for disaster declarations beyond 21 days.

    • #10
  11. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Everything I’ve read says the Omicron variant (which was really the Xi variant, of the CCP virus) is especially mild. People who develop Omicron infections might have just a mild cough, and might not even know they’re sick

    What an insidious, creeping malevolence …

    • #11
  12. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    An Irish rugby team- Munster- were due to play a couple of games in South Africa this weekend and next, then returning to play a massive game in the European championship the following weekend. Now they’re stuck in Cape Town and one of the squad has tested positive. So as it stands, they are isolating in a hotel and will be quarantined for 10 days when they get back. Would any US State, red or blue, do that to a sports team? 

    • #12
  13. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Everything I’ve read says the Omicron variant (which was really the Xi variant, of the CCP virus) is especially mild. People who develop Omicron infections might have just a mild cough, and might not even know they’re sick.

    What an insidious, creeping malevolence …

    This. Emergency powers is just too fun a toy for the powers that be to let go of.

    • #13
  14. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    It occurs to me that Omicron and so forth are what I told myself to expect back in early 2020. Viruses “find it advantageous” to mutate to less lethal forms, and so become endemic.

    I’m double vaxxed with Moderna but I’ve decided to skip the booster.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Susan Quinn:

    No one—I mean no one—is going to put me through the fear and misery of the last two years with

    When the announcement first came from South Africa about the new variant, called Omicron, the scientists emphasized that data was limited:

    Health officials in South Africa said the reaction by other countries was premature, given how little was understood yet about the new strain. [Professor Salim Abdool] Karim noted that it was only detected thanks to South Africa’s excellent scientific surveillance of COVID-19 cases, which specifically hunts for new variants. Few other nations have such a robust genomic sequencing program to find the strains.

    […]

    One day ago, however, the South Africans provided an up-to-date and less hysterical perspective:

    Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a practicing doctor for 30 years who chairs the South African Medical Association (SAMA), said she believed she had found a new strain of the virus after COVID-19 patients at her private practice in Pretoria exhibited strange symptoms.

    ‘Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,’ Coetzee told The Telegraph . . .

    ‘It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,’ Coetzee told the paper. ‘So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.’

    This is the worst sort of governmental burying the lede. The South Africans should have led, on Day One, with  “GREAT GOOD NEWS: COVID-19 MUTATING TO MILD FORM!”

    This is the perfect case to sue the socialist scum who falsely assert emergency and powers.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PA governor Tom Wolf is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist who did his part to infect as many nursing home patients as he could in the early days of the pandemic. (This was when Madam Admiral Undersecretary “Rachel” Whatzits was moving her own mother out of one to keep her safe). So I expect PA to make a move on its citizens shortly.

    Fortunately the voters of PA have made that harder for him:

    Pennsylvania voters revolted against Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, permanently stripping him of some of his emergency powers last week.

    On Tuesday, Pennsylvanians approved two proposed amendments to alter the state constitution and restore power to lawmakers. The first amendment allows the Pennsylvania General Assembly to terminate a governor’s emergency declaration by majority vote, while the second requires that executives seek legislative approval for disaster declarations beyond 21 days.

    This is an outstanding improvement, Headedwest! Good for PA!

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Everything I’ve read says the Omicron variant (which was really the Xi variant, of the CCP virus) is especially mild. People who develop Omicron infections might have just a mild cough, and might not even know they’re sick.

    I saw this too.

    This is fantastic happy news. Only the press and CDC could construe this as bad.

    It sounds like the virus is “attenuating” by itself. Using attenuated viruses is how vaccines are made. This is nature’s vaccine.

    Many scientists have theorized over the years that original H1N1 influenza bug that caused the first pandemic simply weakened and stopped making people sick. It probably continued to circulate in a nonvirulent form for a while. The flu vaccine was not developed until the 1930s and not distributed until 1945. But the flu stopped killing people. (To be clear, deaths in humanity’s 1918 round with this virus were caused by the pneumonia that traveled with it and that became very active in flu-weakened patients.)

    When the Diamond Princess test results came back only 20 percent active infections, I suspected that what happened was that the first covid round in 2003 didn’t actually end with the death of the virus but rather with a mild (attenuated) form of it that circulated around the world. It seemed like just a cold to people who got it and who then passed on their immunity to their offspring. That would explain a lot. That said, according to a doctor in Italy whose YouTube video I watched two years ago, there are eight active coronaviruses out there, and having had exposure to one might be enough to protect a person for life. Perhaps it was an “and” situation: the SARS virus circulated but also people already had innate immunity from the already existing other coronaviruses.

    I think the weak Omicron variant may be the best news we’ve had in a couple of years.

    • #17
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Chris O (View Comment):

    Let Biden know. Him and the Governor of New York look a little silly now. Perhaps I would have appreciated Biden’s caution had he not flagged his predecessor for racism due to similar actions and concerns.

    Sue the socialist scum. Let them know that way. Directly challenge the false assertions of emergency powers in response to what is now truly no more than the common cold or seasonal flu (mild symptoms, fewer hospitalization). Make that point explicit.

    • #18
  19. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Susan Quinn: In other words, will the power brokers go for more power and expect citizens to submit?

    No, they will relinquish their power and show respect for their country and its citizens.

    thhppt…cough…thppt…

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    What are cases, anyway?  PCR cycle counts of what?  And what does a positive PCR or a particular cycle count really mean clinically?

    I’ve not been keeping up with the studies: one study is good to someone of one particular temperament and training and bad to another; with objections over size, population matching, testing, study rationale, or the researchers, or the format it’s presented, etc.  What I have kept up with marginally is the reasoning of virologists, and the reasoning and rationality of government decision-making.  And everything I’ve read leads me to believe that: covid was overall not deadly, but mostly dangerous to people who were already physically weakened; that the original strain has been defeated in the general population due to human immune systems (the death rate after contracting the virus has been, what, 0.2%?) and it infects no one anymore; that vaccine causes new strains to emerge in large quantities (more transmissible); they are weaker in quality (in morbidity and mortality) than the original; and that public policy has nothing to do with preventing deaths and hospitalizations.

    In other words, omicron is going to be more wide-spread and weaker still.

    In other words, masks, mass vaccinations, physical distancing, quarantines and even travel restrictions play no significant part in control or future course of the disease, and these procedures serve some other purpose.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flicker (View Comment):
    In other words, omicron is going to be more wide-spread and weaker still.

    My hope is that this information becomes so widely broadcast that the government will be more reluctant to take the useless precautions. We can hope.

    • #21
  22. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    Flicker (View Comment):
    In other words, omicron is going to be more wide-spread and weaker still.

    That would be natural order of things.   I am personally more worried about the various mutations of Marxism that are spreading around.

    • #22
  23. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    In answer to your your question “What do you think will be happening in your local communities and your state?”, not much.  Our Governor faces primary challenges and the vast majority of the state considers the pandemic to be over.  Governor Abbott was burned by his early response to COVID (sadly, he followed the recommendations of public health officials who were trying to do the right thing but chose poorly). 

    Our big city mayors and county commissioners will get the vapors and overreact again, as will most of the school districts in their communities.  Out here in the boonies nothing will change.

    I find it mystifying.  Don’t viruses typically mutate to be more infectious but less lethal? This seems to be the case here, and yet the usual suspects are acting like it’s Ebola.  Again.

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    I find it mystifying.  Don’t viruses typically mutate to be more infectious but less lethal? This seems to be the case here, and yet the usual suspects are acting like it’s Ebola.  Again.

    I think the general public has been ill-served by the medical profession during this pandemic.

    • #24
  25. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Rational, reasonable discussion of the new variant.

     

    I’m immune to the zombie apocalypse. I felt this was a relevant factoid due to Omicron being mentioned with blood and guts.

    Apparently, heterochromatism of the eyes grants immunity, according to Shaun of the Dead.

    • #25
  26. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    Here is a very good take:

    https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/botaswana-b11529-variant-histrionics

    • #26
  27. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Susan Quinn: What do you think will be happening in your local communities and your state? Will governors wait for more information, or will they compete for the panic prize?

    In Texas we have a governor made of sterner stuff, thank God.

    It was remarkable how hyped up early reports of Omicron were.  Even the Wall Street Journal succumbed to this.  No information at all about what Omicron infections were actually like, only drips and drabs of factoids picked to sensationalize.  “Most mutated variant!” and  “Fifty mutations!” were big ones. 

    So what?  What’s it really like? 

    Finally, African health care providers told us to cool our jets.  The new variant is a pussycat according to what they’ve seen. 

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I want to know who these infected foreigners were.  Where they were from, how long they were in Africa, and how old they were.

    We do know that one was from Hong Kong.

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):

    Here is a very good take:

    https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/botaswana-b11529-variant-histrionics

    He mentioned that we are coming into winter, too, when people are shut indoors with each other. OMG!

    • #29
  30. soursnowflake Coolidge
    soursnowflake
    @soursnowflake

    I was supposed to head to Italy today on a business trip, returning Friday. Generally I don’t have a problem traveling in the COVID era although I do stay nervous until I get my negative test allowing me to get back into the country. 

    However this new strain, and my newfound understanding that I can not reasonably expect a rational government reaction, led me to cancel the trip. The thought of being in a hours-long line upon arrival or affecting my kids ability to go to school did it for me. 

    It’s one thing if we felt that we could trust our government or others to do the right thing, but that’s long gone. 

    • #30