But the rapid spread of the new Covid-19 variant more likely signals the end of the pandemic.
With the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, it looks like another round of senseless mandates has returned.
Chicago, Cook County, New York City and other jurisdictions have pushed the panic button even though Omicron, while more contagious, is less fatal.
Nonetheless, you’ll have to “show your papers, please” proving you’ve been vaccinated if you try to enter restaurants, bars, gyms and an assortment of other businesses. Even kids as young as 5 year old must have papers too. A few schools are heading back to remote learning, despite evidence that it hurts children. Governors in blue states are dreaming up even more restrictions.
To say the reaction is overblown is an understatement. Omicron is now the most dominant variant in America, according to the CDC. But as of this writing, the only recorded person who has died from Omicron is an unvaccinated Houston-area man in his 50s according to the Harris County Public Health. Notably, he had underlying health conditions, so it’s possible that he died with Omicron and not from it.
So that constitutes a the death rate of 0.0000003 percent, one out of 330 million Americans. Makes President Joe Biden’s prediction that we’re facing a” winter of death” a bit, uh, premature.
As the Wall Street Journal reported:
New data from Scotland and South Africa suggest people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus are at markedly lower risk of hospitalization than those who contracted earlier versions of the virus, promising signs that immunity as a result of vaccination or prior infection remains effective at warding off severe illness with the fast-spreading strain.
And this: “An Omicron oddity: The number of cases doesn’t predict the number of deaths,” reports Stat. The article said that its research “showed that the case fatality rate [of other variants] was indeed being widely overstated and [we correctly] predicted that it would drop by 5% for every 10% increase in the number of tests.”
Is it possible that Omicron could squeeze out the earlier, more deadly variations? Reports CNBC:
Now, some researchers say omicron could actually hasten the virus’ transition from pandemic to endemic, albeit with large numbers of illnesses and potential deaths along the way.
The theory: Due to omicron’s high rate of transmission and danger to unvaccinated and non-boosted people, hospitalizations and deaths could rise significantly in the coming weeks and months — but survivors could emerge with a degree of so-called “natural immunity” that could help protect against Covid’s next variant of concern.
Despite all this, much of the media (and some “experts”) continue to report only the number of Covid-19 cases, as if that’s the be-all and end-all of the matter. This is a huge disservice to the public. The most critical statistic is the death rate–just as with any other disease, epidemic or pandemic. Coming in a distant second is hospitalizations. Case numbers don’t even come in third.
Keep an eye out for how the threat of Omicron is reported as it crowds out the other viruses. Or if another, even less dangerous, variant arrives. Will the media continue to feed the panic or shift the emphasis of their stories to fatality rates instead of the case numbers?
I doubt it.Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
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