Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 17, 2021

Omicron Update

Three weeks ago the world found out that there was a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which had lots of mutation. The variant, named  Omicron by the World Health Organization, seemed to spread way faster than any previously known ones.

Little else was known about Omicron at that time:

There are many open question about the new variant of concern:

  • How fast does this variant really spread?
  • Is it more infectious?
  • Does it cause a more severe illness?
  • Is it more deadly?
  • How well do the vaccines hold up against it?

From the current data none of those questions can yet be answered. It will take two to four weeks to find out.

Some of those questions can by now be answered. Others are still open as there seems to be contradicting evidence for either side.

  • How fast does this variant really spread?

Very fast. Britain has seen a doubling of new Omicron cases every 2.5 days. In London Omicron is now the dominant variant. New York City sees a rapid rise of positive Coviod-19 tests:

New York City’s Covid-19 positivity rate doubled in just three days as the city battles a virus surge ahead of the holidays, Dr. Jay Varma, a top health advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, tweeted Thursday.
...
From Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, the percentage of positive tests in the city spiked from 3.9% to 7.8%. “This is #SARSCoV2 evading both vaccine & virus induced immunity against infection unlike any variant before,” Varma added.

In Denmark, which has an excellent surveillance system, the Omicron variant already made up 34% of all Covid-19 cases on December 14. The number will be much higher today. The vaccination rate in Denmark is over 90%. Denmark also sees a silent community spread and has had super spreading events with large numbers of infected people.

  • Is it more infectious?

It is obvious by now that the current vaccines do not protect one from becoming infected with Omicron.

On November 26 some 111 participants took part in a Christmas party in Oslo, Norway. All were vaccinated. The invent was indoor and no masks were worn. 80 participants were diagnosed as infected with SARS-CoV-2. Over 70% of those cases reported several Covid symptoms. Only one case was completely asymptomatic.

Compared to all other variants Omicron is definitely more transmissible and infectious. It is therefore even more important to keep ourselves protected by non-pharmaceutical measures, i.e. masks and good ventilation, as much as possible.

  • Does it cause a more severe illness?

We still do not know for sure.

The news from South Africa, where the Omicron variant was found first, is uplifting:

South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking.

Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference.

Health officials presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng.

Still, new cases in that week of the current wave were more than 20,000 a day, compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave. That’s further evidence of omicron’s rapid transmissibility, which a number of other countries, such as the U.K., are also now experiencing.

Here is more detailed data from South Africa. The hospitalization rate is much lower than in earlier waves. Hospital stay time is also significant reduced.

Absolute Covid-19 death in South Africa have not increased despite a huge wave of Omicron cases.

However, death through Covid-19 is usually only three to four weeks after the onset of symptoms. The number of death in South Africa could still go up. One has also to consider that the season in South Africa is currently summer while the northern countries are now in winter times during which respiratory illnesses usually hit harder. South Africa had also had a high rate of immunity through prior infections and it has a relative young population.

Contrast South Africa with a modeling study by the Imperial College in London which found that Omicron could be just as severe as the Delta variant which had caused the previous wave. 'Could' is the operative word here. Modeling must be based on data and we have too little yet to make really good predictions.

Side note:

A university in Hong Kong has made experiments with Omicron in cells from the upper bronchia and in cells deeper within the lungs. The researchers found that Omicron infects and reproduces in upper bronchia cells much better than earlier variants while it infects less cells than other variants more deep within the lungs. (The paper on the study is not out yet and I have only heard a discussion of the preliminary report on a German public radio podcast today.)

If the findings from Hong Kong turn out to be true they could explain the higher transmissibility of Omicron as well as the lower death rate.

Covid-19 caused by non-Omicron variants starts with the replication of viruses in the upper respiratory tract. About a week after first symptoms the virus wanders down into the lower respiratory tract and into the lungs. This is when hospitalization is usually necessary as oxygen shortages will follow and the immune system will start to go berserk and attack the body itself.

A higher growth of Omicron in the upper part of the bronchia would explain the higher transmissibility of Omicron as more virus could be emitted through breathing and speaking. A lower growth in the lower parts of the respiratory system would explain the lower number of hospital admittances in South Africa.

The evolutionary explanation for the above would be a typical optimization of the virus variant for total distribution. More transmissibility helps with that while killing the host does not.

Please take this side note with a large pinch of salt as no extensive paper from Hong Kong has yet been peer reviewed of published. While it is a possible explanation for what can be seen in the data from South Africa other effects could play more significant roles.

  • Is it more deadly?

So far the answer for Omicron infections seems to be no. But that does not mean that there will be less death.

The Omicron infection wave will try to drown all of us. The numbers in the U.S. easily could go up to a million new infections per day. It will be impossible to get PCR test results as the number of new cases will exceed all testing capacities.

If there is a 2% hospitalization rate like in South Africa that would mean 20,000 new hospital admittances per day in the U.S. With a high number of cases all health care systems will get swamped with serious cases even if the rate of hospitalization per case is low. Emergency services for other illnesses will be restricted and such restrictions mean triage and a higher number of all causes death than usual.

  • How well do the vaccines hold up against it?

The vaccines do not protect against an infection with Omicron. From the perspective of transmissibility we are all not vaccinated. But the vaccinations still help.

The vaccines used in the 'west' were all based on the spike protein of the original Wuhan variant. The various antibodies the immune system has build against the spike proteins cover specific small regions of it. Many of these epitomes have changed with Omicron which has had 30 mutations within the RNA part of its genome that defines the spike protein. Some spike regions that could be attacked by antibodies against the original spike protein will no longer exist. New ones will have formed. That is why most monoclonal antibodies that have worked as therapy against the original spike will not help against Omicron.

However some of the various antibodies that were formed during vaccination will still be able to do their job. There are also the B-memory cells which have built those  antibodies against the vaccine spike and which still exist in our bodies. B-memory cells 'ripen' over time and can then create more variants of antibodies as they did when they were first activated. There are also memory T-cells created against the vaccine spike which tend to attack on a wider range than antibodies and which do not care much about tiny mutations.

Even without a booster vaccine the first two shots have prepared the body for fighting the virus and will likely prevent a severe case of Omicron Covid-19 illness.

But any Convid-19 infection, even when 'mild', is still causing some violent symptoms and is putting the body through very high stress. Covid-19 is not a flu or a simple influenza. It is way worse. There is also long Covid which effects some 10% of all who had a Covid infection. It still causes serious symptoms up to a year after the infection and we have no therapy against it.

My advice to everyone is therefore to avoid an infection as much as possible. Mask up whenever you enter public transport or a building other than your home. Avoid being in crowds. Always seek good ventilation.

This too shall pass.

New vaccines will become available. Better therapies will be found. More people will be immunized.

The waves of Covid infections that come after this one will likely have lower peaks and look more like a typical seasonal influenza wave. Some people will still die from Covid just as people die each year from influenza. Covid is on its way to become a normal disease.

We will all have to get used to it.

---
Note:

I will police the comments in this thread. Any hyping of unproven medications and other not science based speculations will be removed and might get you banned.

Posted by b on December 17, 2021 at 19:00 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Well, was checked out as positive for COVID this past Wednesday. Came down with a severe cough on Monday, then went full flu symptoms on Tuesday. Got tested on Wednesday with results just under 12 hours later. Live in upstate NY area. Am vaccinated. Went through some high fevers just twice. The coughing is a big pain. But feel much better today. About 90%. Only had homemade chicken soup and took cough and fever medication. That’s it. Don’t know if what I got was this variant.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Dec 17 2021 19:36 utc | 1

public transport? No Mask? Think that needs to changed.

If rode public transportation I would be masked up. I always carry a spare.

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 17 2021 19:37 utc | 2

Anecdotally, in some tourist areas (Hudson Valley) a short distance north of NYC last weekend, the level of concern for masking was maybe in 50% of the places where people gathered (seems to be an all-or-nothing pattern, everyone simply following the local norm in each place). Concern for avoiding crowds appeared nonexistent. I proceeded to spend this week with one of the nastiest coughs I've had in many years, but tested negative. The university town where I live now has a skyrocketing infection rate (I suspect through the primary schools), despite twice-a-week testing of all university student/staff, who make up most of the 'active' population, 97% vaccination rate for university students, and a generally quite cautious local population.

Posted by: ptb | Dec 17 2021 19:38 utc | 3

thank you for your continued rationality about covid and the vaccine. I cannot fathom those who dismiss this novel virus/vaccines as some kind of plot. Medical staff around the country are exhausted and burnt out and wondering how so many people can get so twisted up in their ideas of rights/responsibilities. The shortage of nurses is severe and getting worse. Wait times at urgent care centers are very long, expect them to get even longer. Don't get sick people. Don't have an accident. And,again, if you get covid and have refused vaccination, stay home.

Posted by: nurse.comic | Dec 17 2021 19:39 utc | 4

@Jose - where in NY?

Posted by: ptb | Dec 17 2021 19:39 utc | 5

Thanks, dear b.
But now, would you be so kind to look at Übersterblichkeit, destatis from sept to now. Latest weekly average death toll was up to 28% .
There are a lot of deaths from reactions, not only from that virus.

Posted by: Gerd Müller | Dec 17 2021 19:41 utc | 6

Posted by: nurse.comic | Dec 17 2021 19:39 utc | 8

"wondering how so many people can get so twisted up in their ideas of rights/responsibilities"
"if you get covid and have refused vaccination, stay home"

the 'mass formation' psychosis angle makes more sense to me every day... if nurse.comic isn't sarcastic then perhaps psychotic

Posted by: Rae | Dec 17 2021 19:48 utc | 7

Ivermectin for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 71 studies
Updated 16 December 2021

https://ivmmeta.com

Evolutionary biologist podcast interview w/ Tess Lawrie on IVM meta-analysis, MD and PHD, external analyst for the World Health Organization, and an expert in analysis of medical evidence.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 17 2021 20:00 utc | 8

Question for b. Some time ago you posted a study of the possibe future mutations of the bug. The autor opined that we may be nearing the ende (i.e. only a few new varients were likely to occur). Is this new bug a game changer? Has the bug exhausted its possible adaptaciones, or are they nearly infinite? Has the author of the previous study comM loented on the latest?

Posted by: c | Dec 17 2021 20:09 utc | 9

Johannesburg – Infection rates are soaring across South Africa as a result of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but fewer people have died or required hospital treatment compared to previous waves of Covid, health officials said Friday.

On Wednesday, South Africa recorded the highest number of infections the nation has ever seen in the pandemic, driven by the rapid spread of Omicron, said Michelle Groome, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

"The hospitalisations are not increasing at such a dramatic rate," she told a news conference.

"We are starting to see some increases, but relatively small increases in deaths."

Wassila Jassat, also from the NICD, said the number of people requiring oxygen was "lower than what it was in comparison to any of the previous wave periods."

"Patients do seem to stay for a shorter duration," she said.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that the data do not mean that Omicron is less virulent, but rather than vaccines are preventing serious illness.

"It's probably due to significant vaccine coverage," particularly among older people, he said.

South Africa sees fewer in hospital as Omicron surges

Posted by: Down South | Dec 17 2021 20:14 utc | 10

Covid is on its way to become a normal disease.

And when that happens do you really think the authoritarian measures that have been implemented into law will be repealed?

I’ve been warning about the dramatic social and economic changes that they have and will still implement (which not have been possible without Covid-19)

This is the “new normal”. There is no going back to the old normal.

Posted by: Down South | Dec 17 2021 20:28 utc | 11

“Very fast. Britain has seen a doubling of new Omicron cases every 2.5 days. In London Omicron is now the dominant variant.”

I can attest to that. I got first symptoms on 28th Nov. I’m in London. Indicating infection some days earlier. I was in large parties previous two days from which no one else has reported having got it. I was also in a short indoor conversation with someone with a new cough. Who has been flying for business meetings. There was only us two talking in a large room for 10 mins.

“It is obvious by now that the current vaccines do not protect one from becoming infected with Omicron.”

I can attest that neither does a previous Covid infection from January 2020. Which has protected me throughout this year including extremely large parties and daily bar attendance all the way through from June to November. Without any vaccine.

“However some of the various antibodies that were formed during vaccination will still be able to do their job. There are also the B-memory cells which have built those  antibodies against the vaccine spike and which still exist in our bodies.”

The same obviously goes for T and B cells from actual previous infection. I can confirm the instant response I had was as extreme as my previous symptoms 22 months ago.

I was laid out for first week with sweats, second week was similar extreme weakness and brain fog.
Chest has been fine just some phlegm for second week. Staying hydrated was a challenge and effort has drained strength and weight - eating plenty again to catch up and enjoying first beer and wine last couple days!
Compared to first bout I am feeling better at week 3, however low level fevers around the body and head are still occurring - the immune system is still pumping out newer antibodies! The last time I was still having long Covid symptoms until late March. Hopefully it won’t be as long this time. Strength is returning faster but it has not been a fun 3 weeks.
Mind numbness is an extra symptom which I didn’t notice as much last time (but then again I didn’t know it was Covid at the time just what I thought was the worst man flu’s I get irregularly (no I don’t take flu vaccine).

“Mask up whenever you enter a building other than your home or public transport. Avoid being in crowds. Always seek good ventilation. “

Amen and good luck everyone through the festivities keep them muted this time is even more important than last Xmas because of how many total infections there are - the only silver lining I can see from the massive spreading is that we may get the fabled herd immunity via the natural infection and recovery that will provide us with more suitable immune cells for future strains - hopefully meaning we can wean ourselves of never ending mandatory ‘vaccines’.

Posted by: D.G. | Dec 17 2021 20:31 utc | 12

I work as an RN at a University setting. Part of my job is to mentor 4 yr RN students. The main reason there are shortages and burn out is because RN programs have gotten so selective, they only take those with, or close to 4.0 GPAs. The nursing associations & leaders are dead set that 4yr RNs make a 6 figure salary & then are expected to become practitioners taking roles formally held by physicians. Fine! But when many students who are plenty intelligent to be RNs get turned away, we have a shortage! This has been the case for longer than COVID. Then COVID does hit and more retire or quit, then we have a crisis.
It’s time the general public & politicians wake up to this selfish plan & demand the gates be opened to all those bright and hard working enough to earn a RN degree & fill positions! There are plenty waiting.

Posted by: RN | Dec 17 2021 20:31 utc | 13

Thanks for the informations.

It's written: " More people will be immunized ". Sadly everybody knows... that covid vaccines can help, but don't make you "immune" to covid. You can still get sick, and you can still die. I noticed all around the world it become a trend to refer to vaccines as "immunization". But it is not. Please let's be honest and let's refrain to repeat the lies.

Posted by: DanieleB | Dec 17 2021 20:34 utc | 14

All the indications so far are that Omicron is fairly harmless. That was known soon after it was discovered in patients in South Africa. And its effects in cases in the UK have also been less severe than other Covid strains.
https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-most-cases-now-like-severe-cold-and-omicron-appears-to-produce-fairly-mild-illness-expert-says-12497094

What we know so far suggests that Omicron should be welcomed because it gives natural immunity to many people without killing them or causing them serious illness.

Posted by: Brendan | Dec 17 2021 20:47 utc | 15

RN@17
Which country are you in?

Posted by: Extra | Dec 17 2021 20:56 utc | 16

Most people are not master manipulators, so most people underestimate the ease at which manipulators operate. The same general mode of operation is exploited by alcoholic wife beaters and private equity firms alike.

1. Isolate
2. Dehumanize
3. Scare
4. Be the Singular Solution.

There is fear in b's words (all due respect, I know I am 'talking up'). Fans of Yevgeny Zamyatin will note that #4 could, more succinctly, be named OneState.

Posted by: Rae | Dec 17 2021 21:01 utc | 17

Too bad that the NHS decided last February that it was no use to keep providing vitamin D to people at risk
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/free-vitamin-d-supplements-for-people-at-high-risk/

Posted by: Julie | Dec 17 2021 21:25 utc | 18

Right on time with this new Omicron thing...but people are waking up about this whole pandemic farce...

Posted by: notlurking | Dec 17 2021 21:26 utc | 19

The one topic no one seems to be touching on is, why hasn’t the G7 countries (after 2years) developed better and more hospitals? Certainly would be much cheaper and less grievance than shutting entire countries and economies.

This is what China did in the first 6months, create field hospitals to cope with the influx of patients.

Posted by: Mm | Dec 17 2021 21:29 utc | 20

Luckily the social media is having an impact on people's capacity to remember anything.
While the British MSM are full of the scandalous Christmas parties held LAST year among higher civil servants, no one seem to recall this was in the midst of a supposed "UK variant panic"
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/health/new-covid-strain-uk.html

Posted by: Julie | Dec 17 2021 21:30 utc | 21

https://sputniknews.com/20211217/sputnik-v-induces-robust-neutralising-antibody-response-to-omicron-variant-preliminary-study-shows-1091604643.html

".............

The Gamaleya Centre’s recent preliminary laboratory study shows that Sputnik V demonstrates high virus-neutralizing activity (VNA) against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant and is expected to provide a strong defence against severe disease and hospitalization," the RDIF said in a statement.
According to the RDIF, which is marketing the Russian jabs overseas, Sputnik V "has demonstrated 3-7x less of a reduction in virus-neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to data from other vaccine producers.


........"

Posted by: the pessimist | Dec 17 2021 21:34 utc | 22

The reoccurring theme seems to be; Live a healthy lifestyle, get vaccinated, and, when/if you catch it, more than likely, there are no hospitalizations needed.

This exact scenario fits my sons family at this moment.

So far, so good, for me and the wife

Wish we'd hear more about the other vaccines developed by other nations.

Posted by: vetinLA | Dec 17 2021 21:38 utc | 23

The panic around C is a lot like postmodernism in general. It reiterates the same premise, conditions, and conclusions in perpetuum, but goes nowhere and resolves nothing beyond its own raison d'être. It appears to move, change, evolve, but it is false; a lifeless, breathless corpse. Why do so many dead people care about the living?

Posted by: Justin | Dec 17 2021 21:45 utc | 24

On long term Covid issues, there was a study that Covid infection drops IQ permanently. Even for asymptomatic cases, there was 1,5 points IQ loss.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 17 2021 21:47 utc | 25

The United States continues to double-down on every failure produced by a failed state; Russia, China, Iran, Covid. Fauci, a corrupted bureaucrat, mass murderer and chronic liar enthralled to Big Pharma is headed for karmic retribution. Apart from any actual disease called Covid, what's clear is the near-total control of undemocratic public/private partnerships whereby the public funds the private, which sells back to the public at a profit what was funded by the public for the enrichment of the private.

We're at war with the Billionaire Class who are the new gods. Comply at your peril.

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 17 2021 21:50 utc | 26

Thanks for a great summary!
Regarding immunity - there are papers out, for instance this one from the Innsbruck group. Their conclusion is that 2 Covid vaccines or have been infected does not protect well. But vaccinated & infected persons or persons vaccinated & bolstered are quite protected even against Omicron.

unreviewed Innsbruck paper

Posted by: Ernst | Dec 17 2021 21:57 utc | 27

I think the Hong Kong possible results are the most important part of this if true - big If so far. If true, Omicron would basically be a cold, or a nasty cold, or a flu, and sometimes a nasty flu, to people who have some kind of immunity (previous covid or vaccine), and since it's been clear full eradication wasn't possible anymore and vaccines don't offer 100% protection from infection, it's been basically the hoped-for end game. Of course, if someone manages to develop a vaccine through nasal spray that would massively activate antibodies in upper tracts, then we'd be in an even better position.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 17 2021 22:03 utc | 28

My comment #2, in which I only wrote about how I had succeeded in raising my Vitamin D blood levels and asked a couple of questions about the effect of those levels on covid, has been deleted. I said nothing that anyone could regard as false. But that was enough to be deleted.

Posted by: Lysias | Dec 17 2021 22:05 utc | 29

It is far from clear the vaccines protect anyone from getting COVID infections of any variation.
I am highly amused by these statements of "95% efficacy vs. delta with 3 boosters", "65% efficacy vs. omicron with 2 boosters" blah blah blah

By the end of January, we will have presumably hit the peak of COVID infections (of all varieties), just like last winter to the beginning of 2021.

This last time, there were no vaccines.

This time, they're already backtracking on the efficacy of vaccines that have been administered. Thus between the time decay factor - 6 months or more even for vaccines aimed at ABCDwhatever, the "new" variants, the boosters - it is literally going to be impossible for anyone to really understand what is going on.

Which is why I will be observing the deaths vs. infections number. So far in 2021, the vaccinations have not had any visible effect on the deaths vs. infections ratio. I'm not saying zero - I am, however, saying it is nowhere near "65% or 95%" efficacy.

I have, from the very beginning, noted that COVID is going to be far more like flu than it is smallpox. The rise of a new variant for flu is literally an annual occurrence; it seems far from clear that COVID would be any different.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 17 2021 22:11 utc | 30

"This is the “new normal”. There is no going back to the old normal." Down South@11

What was so good about "the old normal" (aka Yankee Imperialism)?

The notion that the pandemic is being used to institute some novel form of authoritarianism seems to be founded on an amazingly rosy view of the world that Washington ruled without challenge.

In fact the Empire is collapsing as a result of its own contradictions, one of the most notable of which is the inability of capitalism to sacrifice its short term interests (Xmas sales, for example, or restaurant business) to the needs of public health. That is why, while China has managed to restrict its deaths to around 5000 in total every ally of the USA suffers wave after wave of epidemic and constantly mounting death tolls in the hundreds of thousands.

The "old normal" plus a rapidly spreading virus = the rolling crisis of the pandemic.

All of which is completely obvious and only needs pointing out because there are so many people- either fools or imperialist trolls- denying the reality of the pandemic and offering excuses for the ruling oligarchies' callous incapacity in the face of a public health crisis which surprised nobody, was telegraphed in the Sars 1 outbreaks and other earnests of globalised hygiene.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 17 2021 22:13 utc | 31

B, I always cringe when you post something about Covid-19, even though your summaries and recommendations are generally spot on. That’s because the comments that follow are inevitably poisoned by anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, “tyrannized” libertarians and proponents of ineffective and/or unproven therapies.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 17 2021 22:32 utc | 32

Since Omicron is much more transmissible, it sounds like wearing mask is even more important for prevention, comparing with earlier variants of the virus.

Posted by: d dan | Dec 17 2021 22:33 utc | 33

The Imperial College of London?

Oh wait, is that not the seat of one Nial Fergusson, whose "models" for the "pandemic"´s estimated mortality ( already proved exagerated and that even not discounting all the elders who really died of negligence in health care in the first wave...) brought us here, with countries like Sweden which followed their own instinct and science behaved similar, and even better, without the recommended lockdowns and restrictions?

Why should we trusting them any more?

I would say that any sane rational person would consider at this point in time the Imperial College of London is to pandemic´s mdel creation, the same as Bild to trustfull seasoned information on the evenst in Yugoslavia previous to its dismantling...
And, highly likley, we would discover both work for the same people...


The same with the Pfizer/BionTech and Moderna meds effectivity.

Two years is enough to test and learn.

If there is such and continuous emergence ( which has brought de facto the whole transgression of the European constitutional mandates ), why Germany, whose new coalition government lacked time to imposse mandatory vaccination on the alibi of a new dangerous wave, reduced its ICU beds in the astounding number of 4000 through the past year?

Why almost every European and Western country afforded sending their health care staffs into unemployment in the thousands in the middle of an alleged unending pandemic?

The pandemic is covering what is happening behind the scenes, the dismantling and restructuring of the remaining European public health care systems, so that to prepare them for US vulture funds and pharma companies ( in which they seat at the boards the relatives of those in the European Comission in charge of all related to this "pandemic"...) to take over, plus the soft landing and funding ( through already proved useless "vaccines"..) of the bankruptcy of the US derivatives bubble and restructuring of Western banking system, plus the liquidation of little to middle size business to then land into increasing fewer hands, giving place to oligopolies at every economic sector, with which the big corporations will behave mafia like blackmailing us by creating new necessities and artificial shortages, so that we spend all what we have in increasingly useless products and services at increasing higuer prices.

Then, there is a calculated impoverishing of EU countries by the three major European powers ( amongst which now it has been included, along Germany and France, indebted Italy, on the grounds it is already under the power of an unelected dictatorial globalist doing the bid of Davos )and a new de facto colonization through the Next Generation EU funds, after having ruined the economies of those EU countries whose elites sold out them and limited themselves to follow European Comission directives ( concretely those of the combo Von Der Leyen,Breton and Kyriakides, the three owning huge conflict of interests with regard every aspect of this "pandemic"...

Posted by: Black bread | Dec 17 2021 22:34 utc | 34

The real question is why people mispronounce it. Decades ago in math class it was O-my-cron. If you were really fancy it was O-me-cron.

Posted by: Jezza | Dec 17 2021 22:43 utc | 35

Wildly contradicting information about Omicron. Imperial College London has found that the Omicron surge in London is putting patients in the hospital more quickly (!) (6 days) than did Delta (9-10 days) with no reduction in severity either in terms of people testing positive reporting symptoms, or the proportion of cases seeking hospital attention. It appears the relatively mild South African experience so far is either down entirely to demographic differences combined with other factors, OR, that Omicron has adapted once more to become more, not less severe. Several sub variants have already been identified. Something has to explain the divergence. Some of the London data makes the demographic factor by itself seem less likely. All appeals to the virus "inevitably" having to become less severe look ridiculous in the light of 2 years of actual experience with this pandemic. The emergence of variants from Alpha to Delta displayed a trend of increasing transmissibility and severity. The other possibility is a failure of information reporting in SA, similar to that alleged against Russia over the course of the pandemic, intentional or otherwise.

However it is done, the apparently different behavior of Omicron in the UK and Denmark vs SA needs to be explained.

The entire "Omicron is mild" saga reminds one of the classic WWII anecdote about planes coming back from bombing runs over Germany. We need to armor everything but the engines, you see, because they don't get hit there.

Say, for the sake of argument, Omicron WERE less severe strictly in terms of the most severe stage of illness and death, which is the only sensible interpretation of existing data - this wave will easily crush the already strained healthcare systems of the western world and disrupt economies once again at a time when they absolutely cannot afford rounds 5-6, and curse another large chunk of the workforce with long COVID.

Posted by: Cesare | Dec 17 2021 22:46 utc | 36

omicron may behave like a vaccine and with it it is possible that herd immunity will at last be realised.

Life is a fatal sexually transmitted disease. Natural selection.

Posted by: Olivier | Dec 17 2021 22:57 utc | 37

@c1ue (30) ”So far in 2021, the vaccinations have not had any visible effect on the deaths vs. infections ratio.”

Where do you come up with such garbage? The death rate is 13 times higher in unvaccinated vs vaccinated persons with Covid-19 infection.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status

Hence, even if vaccines do not prevent infection with the Covid-19 virus (Delta variant), they have tremendous value in preventing deaths (and hospitalizations—5 times more frequent in unvaccinated persons with infection.) Why do so many people have difficulty comprehending this simple fact and it’s implications? Covid vaccines are good and much safer than getting Covid. Everyone would be wise to get vaccinated.

Regarding the Omicron variant, it is still too soon to know how much protection will be conferred by the first generation of vaccines.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 17 2021 23:03 utc | 38

A product which is valid only 6 months (5 months in France), which targets ONLY one protein of the virus, which does not prevent the transmission of the virus, which does not prevent to become ill, is not a vaccine. It is designed to make big profits for the laboratories and it does.

The spike protein is toxic by itself because it is binding with the ACE2 enzyme which regulate the blood pressure (bringing it down). This enzyme is present on endothelial cells, which are present in blood vessels and in several organs.

Posted by: Olivier | Dec 17 2021 23:13 utc | 39

Also, this is no longer something that's happening out there in the world to other people for me - I have COVID-19.

So far it's a tension headache feeling and a mild fever, with the on-and-off urge to nap. I still have taste & smell and am not coughing. There's nothing obviously respiratory so far. A little bit of phlegm maybe.

Imagine feeling in your forehead, eyes, sinuses, and temples like you've spent the last week sunup to sundown slaving over a keyboard copying the Bible or straining to pick rice grains out of carpets, combined with the early feverishness and chill of a flu bout that never properly manifests itself as the flu, and that's the general ballpark of what (vaccinated) COVID feels like. At the same time, it's somehow not as uncomfortable writing this as you might think from that description. I keep holding cool things to my forehead.

I feel bizarrely cozy and satisfied when I lie down for a nap. That's the only part I recommend about this.

Posted by: Cesare | Dec 17 2021 23:24 utc | 40

@Olivier (41) You seem to be unaware that the vaccines prevent hospitalizations and deaths, even beyond a six month period. I suggest that you read my post and the linked article at #39.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 17 2021 23:33 utc | 41

Kuntsler over at Clusterfuck Nation certainly has some opinions on this: The question is: will the people of this land submit to continued coercion and to the engineered demolition of their lives? So far, we have not rolled over like the pathetically servile Europeans and Australians. Here, there is apparently some will to resist further pushing around by this demonic elite. Several federal judges recently defined clear constitutional red-lines in their published decisions against the vaxx mandates.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/where-do-you-stand/

Posted by: Ichabod Solshenitsyn | Dec 17 2021 23:48 utc | 42

@Rob #13
If vaccination truly reduces death rates by 92% (12/13),
Why are the COVID deaths in 2021 higher than 2020?

60% of the population is vaccinated.
Yes, there are more infections but a 92% lower death rate for 20-60% of the population vaccinated should yield visibly lower death rates and numbers.

As such, I ascribe any proclamations unsupported by trends to be: “Lies, damn lies and statistics”.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2021 0:02 utc | 43

@Olivier #38
That might happen but I highly doubt it.
The common cold and influenza - we humans have contracted them many times each. We are still not immune.

All things being equal, I would see COVID continuing to mutate rather than go quietly in the night. I hope I am wrong but other corona viruses (some of which comprise the common cold) would indicate this hope is thin.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 18 2021 0:06 utc | 44

Rob #43.

OK. Data for France and Switzerland show for 2020 no excess mortality for people under 65. For Geneva 2020, no excess mortality under 70 yo and some of the excess mortality is not related to the virus. For 2021 until end of October in Geneva, under expected mortality for all ages. During one reported week of October: unvaccinated: 22 deaths, vaccinated 24.

OK, protection for people above 70 yo (choice of vaccine [which is not the case in EU], isolation, mask, hygiene, etc.), heard immunity for the others.

omicron has some 32 mutations on the spike protein. I guess it could have been an adaptation of the virus to the antibody produced by the injections of the lab products. The deaths caused by the stress due to the governments and their policy will never by counted. The first consequence of stress is a decrease of the immune defense capacity.

It would be kind of funny to hear so much noise about this virus and its mortality, when at the same time thousands of people are killed by wars initiated by the USA or by weapons sold by the same in a silence of death, yes, it would be kind of funny, if it was not so sad. But who cares about those foreign deaths? In both cases, money rules: big pharma and the MIC.

Every year: 56,900,000 deaths. Covid so far after 23 months: 5,343,490. What about the epidemies of heart attacks (9,500,000), strokes (5,800,000), cancers (7,600,000), obesity (2,800,000), etc.?

Posted by: Olivier | Dec 18 2021 0:12 utc | 45

Thanks b for this information.
The lineups for vaccines/boosters in my city wind around city blocks.
I can't tell my family members the vaccine is useless because they stopped listening to me over a year ago. If I even try to tell them what's going on they scream PUMPKIN a safe word that means STFU).

This is beyond frustrating.

Posted by: ld | Dec 18 2021 0:26 utc | 46

The risk of reinfection with the Omicron coronavirus variant is more than five times higher than Delta and shows no convincing signs of being milder, a study suggests.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/report-49-Omicron/

Posted by: Jezza | Dec 18 2021 0:31 utc | 47

D.G.: I know someone who got rhinovirus late last winter, down for three weeks, similar symptoms. Coronaviruses are in a larger group of "common colds". We remember that when influenza appeared, the epidemic was devastating, my mother lost a sibling..., perhaps the last terrible pandemic. Around 1920 there were no global supply chains (i.e. trade volume was many times smaller compared with national incomes), and people had much smaller expectation about their health, they just survived a terrible war too.

The optimism about evolution of COVID-19 stems from the experience with influenza. With extra insights into evolution of viruses, this is a solid reason. Nothing is certain, but there are huge bets (in terms of future contracts for commodities) that now the worst worries will be about inflation and the approaching "clash of civilization", Russia and China now willing to take as much crap as before, and the "collective West" cogitating the response with heavily corroded intellectual framework.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 18 2021 0:52 utc | 48

Thank You b ;)

Posted by: ld | Dec 18 2021 1:07 utc | 49

@Rob differences between death ratio vaccinates/unvaccinates is x10 as you said for a few reason. First it depends if the host have any serious illness. Second it depends if host is very old.
If you consider the difference death ration vax/noVax for healty person under 50 years, you would notice it is not so different.

As a conclusion, if the goal was to prevent the death of ill and old people, it would have been wise to vax only these with serious illness and old.

Posted by: DanieleB | Dec 18 2021 1:27 utc | 50


Interestingly, the Omicron variant appears to be more transmissible but less virulent than Delta and this has some far reaching implications – if more people “get sick and then get well” reasonably quickly, we have a better chance at herd immunity relying on our natural immune systems along with the experimental vaccines . . . So, Omicron is not just the next “horror,” it could be, in part, a “way out” of the Pandemic with as much emphasis on working with our natural immune systems as vaccines: of course Big Pharma and the establishment media will try to portray it as the next horror that people will need billions billed to the "Gubmint" booster shots for . . .

Here, a solid voice – for regular people -- who reports daily on the march of Covid all across the world – Brit Dr. John Campbell on youtube everyday -- follows Covid outbreaks and problems with a disarming “methodical” intelligence. He doesn’t blatantly rebel against mass vaxxing for Covid (really most useful for people over 65), but subtly questions it by often interviewing front line primary care Practitioners and other Doctors in the field who have used Ivermectin, vitamin D3, HQX, effectively to quell Covid from putting people in the hospital, etc. He is careful not to “rock the boat” enough to get him thrown off Youtube while delivering really good demographic and medical info . . .

He follows the Global march of the pandemic with lots of good data and where and when, and is a good ongoing source for whatszzup with the Pandemic. There it is for now . . . hope all goes well and Keep on chuggin’ away!

Posted by: DickyGee | Dec 18 2021 1:28 utc | 51

@62 DickyGee

Excellent comment, thank you.

~~

@53 David F. - "I recognize very few of the posters in this thread"

I suspect many people are staying out of the comments on this one. It's largely a thread spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. People don't come to MoA as a principal source to learn valuable information about the pandemic, they come to share with others what they have learned from valuable sources. But as we see, when the initial flurry of FUD dies down, the sharing takes over, with some excellent sources.

~~

@60 IronForge

Thanks for those valuable sources. Hope your comment stays up. If not, be assured that I grabbed your links.

~~

@34 Black bread

Good to see you here. Thank you for fighting for the truth. I may not comment in this thread, but I will read, and people like you are of great value. Good luck, with all the trolls complaining about trolls, and arguing with trolls ;)

~~

@29 Lysias

It's terrible that your comment on Vitamin D was deleted - can this mean it's an unproven remedy? Oh, for shame on that Lucky Old Sun - but it will keep rolling around heaven, despite what the secularists on the ground may think ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 18 2021 1:36 utc | 52

ITALY.....As of October the 5th 2021, 1,601 out of the 130,468 (1.2%), positive SARS-CoV-2 patients under the age of 50 died. In particular, 399 of these were less than 40 years (245 men and 154 women), age range between 0 and 39 years.

https://www.epicentro.iss.it/en/coronavirus/bollettino/Report-COVID-2019_5_october_2021.pdf

Posted by: monello | Dec 18 2021 1:53 utc | 53

'I will police the comments in this thread. Any hyping of unproven medications and other not science based speculations will be removed and might get you banned'

This article basically is full of speculations with no bases in science (The vaccines do not protect against an infection with Omicron. But the vaccination still helps. What??), and also full of unwarranted hyping of unproven medications, i.e. vaccines.

The author is contradicting himself constantly (South Africa had also had a high rate of immunity through prior infections and it has a relative young population) - that logically points to natural immunity being the reason for low mortality, but in the same article we can hear that (Even without a booster vaccine the first two shots have prepared the body for fighting the virus and will likely prevent a severe case of Omicron Covid-19 illness.)

So, South Africans are succeeding thanks to natural immunity, but author is shamelessly pushing for vaccines nonetheless, apparently for the same result.

A pure fearmongering article and push for unproven, experimental medications.

Please do ban yourself immediately. And permanently.

Posted by: Traveller | Dec 18 2021 2:00 utc | 54

Thanks b on the micron update. Also the sentance I have quoted. You have to search the fine print in western MSM media to to find anything on this.
"This is when hospitalization is usually necessary as oxygen shortages will follow and the immune system will start to go wild and attack the body itself."
People here trhere and everywhere crapping on about strengthening the immune system and various substances as antivirals which have no antiviral effect in the body. The drugs that have been touted do have anti inflammatory properties.

"the immune system will start to go wild and attack the body itself" this came out of China very early on, even before coronavirus had become serious problem in the west but according to westerm political/bantum rooster medical expertise the immune system does not attack its host.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 18 2021 2:06 utc | 55

I see my local rag is hyping this new iteration.

I see reddit's front page has a photo of a nurse's pager stating, "no joke tonight, we need 21 RNs." If you open the thread, you get similarly breathless posts about hospital waiting lines and whatnot.

Here. We. Go. Again. As if on cue.

And unlike a poster above who says that he cringes at the thought of us "anti-vaxxers" polluting the comments, I absolutely weep for our country being controlled and steered into mindless conformity with this new, manufactured narrative. As if on cue. When will it end?

It will not. Those unvaccinated will not be able to work soon. And beyond this, their endgame is a CBDC. But we will have the greased the skids for Pfizer and Moderna, so no big loss.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 18 2021 2:22 utc | 56

The cases seem to have reached a peak in Gauteng already which is rather odd. All I can think of is that they must have missed a lot of subclinical infections. Wastewater analysis confirms that infections must be far higher than known. This means that immunity through natural infection in SA works well. I'm positive.

Posted by: Gv | Dec 18 2021 3:27 utc | 57

Regarding Omicron and the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, there were somewhat different reports in the Hong Kong Press.

According to South China Morning Post, which b sometimes quotes,

"The Covid-19 vaccine by Sinovac Biotech is not able to produce adequate antibodies to neutralise the highly mutated coronavirus strain Omicron, according to new research from the University of Hong Kong.

Both the Sinovac vaccine and another by Pfizer-BioNTech produced 'inadequate' antibody responses to the variant, HKU scientists said in a statement on Tuesday night, calling for the use of boosters to potentially enhance protection.

Beijing-based Sinovac on Wednesday (15 December) responded with a statement saying a third shot of its CoronaVac vaccine could improve its ability to neutralise Omicron, citing its own laboratory studies."

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3159784/omicron-chinas-sinovac-covid-19-vaccine-fails-antibodies-test

Wenweipo, a Chinese newspaper, is more bullish about a booster shot: "A third shot of Sinovac can effectively resist Omicron" (my translation).

https://www.wenweipo.com/a/202112/16/AP61ba8041e4b07b4059d85b8a.html

Wenweipo's report is apparently based on the same statement from Sinovac that South China Morning Post refers to.

Posted by: TN | Dec 18 2021 3:33 utc | 58

c1ue at 48 says:

"If vaccination truly reduces death rates by 92% (12/13),
Why are the COVID deaths in 2021 higher than 2020?"

This statement is factually false if by "deaths" we logically assume mean "death rates."

I went to worldometer.info/coronovirus to look at some numbers. For the US I looked at the number of cases and deaths for the month of April, 2020 and the month of Sept 12 to October 15 in 2021. From there we can calculate a rough case fatality rate for each: for 2020 the cfr is .06 and for 2021 the cfr is .014.

To translate those numbers we can see the death rate of covid is more than 4 times lower in the late fall of 2021 than it is in the spring of 2020.

Posted by: Toivos | Dec 18 2021 3:44 utc | 59

Not sure how much stock I'd put into the as yet unpublished U Hong Kong data, which can be viewed here.

Note that the error bars on the plotted TCID50/mL (Tissue Culture Infectious Dose 50%/mL) values are large and tend to overlap from one condition to the next, notwithstanding the authors' assertion that infectivity measurements between strains are statistically significant. The scale used is logarithmic and the authors don't say how they calculated the error bars, so it's hard to know for sure.

Also, the relative infectivity between strains being flipped from one cell type to another seems strange if one strain is truly more infective than the other.

Any microbiologists who can help us out here?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Dec 18 2021 5:38 utc | 60

I actually find it amusing watching this clumsy stuff.

The exchange below is straight out of sales/marketing. I wonder if the government hired consultants to produce the sales script?

Government man to me, [Having raised the jab issue again]

AUTHORITAVELY:

"now, I know you have carefully researched the virus and vaxx issue..."

Me: "no I haven't, I take an interest in everything, I just don't trust the government."

Government man, EXASPERATED, EXHALES, [looking for a debate]. didn't know how to handle that flop.

End of sales presentation.

Meanwhile, Radio NZ and Australia's ABC describes anyone furthering the wall to wall narrative as 'an expert.'

Posted by: Paul | Dec 18 2021 5:38 utc | 61

@b

"Note:

I will police the comments in this thread. Any hyping of unproven medications and other not science based speculations will be removed and might get you banned."

Question: why, b?

Actually, how is this position consistent with the process of science, which relies on debate between conflicting views, in a contest, for the day to be won by the greater evidence, the larger proof, the more sane argument?

All science is based on speculation, worn down by the weathering of evidence. So there are actually no "not science based" speculations. All speculations are a part of science. Without speculations, there is no science. If speculation is forbidden, because the science is said now to be fixed and known, then science has just died.

And if science has just died, we who disallowed speculation are those who have killed science.

Science never ends, is never finished. Nothing in science is "proven" and nothing therefore is unproven. Only the claims persist, and the proofs. And they persist because the environment of discussion remains perpetually open to all of them.

~~

I am not a scientist, but I understand protocols, and I rely on scientists who tell me these things about science. And scientists have told me these things about science. Not that it takes much telling, because "scientific method" is easily graspable by anyone, the purity of leaving everything open to a fresh claim, requiring only evidence and proof.

I am familiar with the jostling of ideas in a free discussion that characterizes most open source disciplines. Science, I suppose, must be one of the leaders of such disciplines in this human life.

I always regarded the comment threads of MoA as a very close simulacrum of these kinds of disciplines. In fact, this was the beauty of the MoA thread, that in fact there was almost no overarching doctrine. The commenters themselves brought their own dignity, their own devotion to the truth, their own consensual discipline.

No one created this fragile and wonderful thing. It just happened, from a kind of mutual attraction that saw it as the only civilized way to engage in discourse.

It never needed policing. It never needed the curtailing of themes because they were proscribed.

The commenters themselves were the police. The thread policed itself. Truth, in the end, won out.

~~

I hope, old friend and poet, that you will regard my post as a genuine query, born out of perplexity. It is rhetorical, but it is also a direct challenge, intended to provoke you into reviewing your policy, perhaps even updating it.

My hope is to engage you in scientific debate. Can you justify the protocol of forbidding concepts, in terms of scientific debate? Can you justify these rules of discourse and make them align with the existing rules of evidence? These are questions to ponder.

You asked us the other day simply to "please behave." It seems to me that we did. It seems to me that we almost always will. Why can we not discuss things here that are forbidden?

By whom are they forbidden? Not by science, because science forbids nothing. Science simply asks for proof with each claim. These are conditions we can all gladly live with. So to what governance are the forbidden things beholden?

~~

I never ask anyone to go to the work of answering any question I may have, and so I don't ask anything of you now.

But still the question lingers in the air: why, b? For what reason? For what purpose? To what end?

It blows my mind.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 18 2021 5:44 utc | 62

thanks for your overview b... people see what they want to see..

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2021 5:49 utc | 63

@83 james

People see what they want to see. And then they discuss. And what they see changes...

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 18 2021 5:55 utc | 64

sometimes discussion gets nowhere.. sometimes it gets somewhere... i see a lot of talk and am not all that impressed frankly.. now, we all do indeed see things differently, so to each his or her own...

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2021 5:59 utc | 65

The vaccines are practically useless. The proof is in the measures being taken to protect the vaccinated. I can't believe this simple logic is beyond B. When will people wake up?

Posted by: Activist Potato | Dec 18 2021 6:18 utc | 66

@Grieved @62

Question: why, b?
...
I always regarded the comment threads of MoA as a very close simulacrum of these kinds of disciplines. In fact, this was the beauty of the MoA thread, that in fact there was almost no overarching doctrine. The commenters themselves brought their own dignity, their own devotion to the truth, their own consensual discipline.
...
It never needed policing. It never needed the curtailing of themes because they were proscribed.

The commenters themselves were the police. The thread policed itself. Truth, in the end, won out.

It may look that way to you and if it does so I am doing a pretty good job.

But in fact there is a list with hundreds of IP addresses and names that are blocked from commenting on this site. There is a nearly daily policing of threads here during which I delete the most obvious nonsense, trolling and comments vandalizing the threads.

Not every argument against generally acknowledged scientific findings helps to further develop that science. Not everything is up to discussion.

Some people insist that tomorrow the sun will rise from the west. Fact is it rises from the east. No 'discussion' will change that.

Comments claiming otherwise will therefore be deleted. They have no purpose but to disrupt the 'flow'.

I think that I am usually quite generous with allowing comments that are 'off' to some degree. However, Covid is a serious disease. Check with folks in the ICU nearest to you. They know what they are talking about.

To allow comments that for some reason argue otherwise and link to even more nonsense about Covid is helping no one and is potentially costing lives.

I do not want this blog to be part of that.

Posted by: b | Dec 18 2021 6:28 utc | 67

Grieved at 62.

b has been quite generous in allowing quack medicine comments in this thread as it is. Tess Lawrie mentioned in post 8 is a genuinely recognized quack among medical scientists. Posts 8 and 51 argue in favor of ivermection as cure for covid 19 infections which has been quite thoroughly shown to have no clinical efficacy even if it works well in treating river blindness disease.

Posted by: Toivos | Dec 18 2021 6:57 utc | 68

I want to look at the Omicron variant of Covid a different way.


I want to look at the Omicron variant as an indicator of further loss of the control of information, which is one of the three bases of social power that Graeber and Wengrow described in their new book, The Dawn of Everything - A New History of Humanity.

In their book they posit that there are three possible bases of social power, which they define as control of violence, control of information (with bureaucracy being a secondary to this) and individual charisma. These were referred to as individual or combined qualifiers for different types of social organizations that occurred in different parts of our world in our past and exist currently.

I posit that global private finance empire has had control of violence and information combined for centuries and has only been challenged by wannabees of that ilk until China/Russia combined to seriously challenge the unipolar nature of that social organization.

I posit that the control of violence was turned around in Syria by Russia. I also posit that the Covid virus is a bio-weapon that has not turned out as planned and, back to the Omicron variant, whatever happens to this variant going forward is out of the information control of empire.

So here we have a long term form of social organization that is failing on its core forms of social control. Will empire retain its monotheistic religious link and their believers?

I just wish there were articulate Cultural Anthropologists that could bring the context of our species and its potential outside the Western jackboot box to more people. Graeber and Wengrow were optimistic in their book that our species had spent more time in social organizations that were more "egalitarian" than "barbaric".

It would be nice if we had a choice of what form of social organization we wanted to live in and were willing to support/engage in. Anthropological research shows we have lived as tribes that celebrated the differences between tribes/nations but also valued maintaining communal consensus instead of ongoing killing. I see the efforts of China/Russia axis as supporting that matrix of social organizations that once existed in the parts of the America's in complex but mutually supportive (other than killing) ways.

It certainly is interesting to watch this civilization war "play itself out" as we spew our textual white noise against the MoA bar wall.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2021 7:07 utc | 69

Seems like a case of: The more the virus changes, the more it stays the same.

Have bar patrons been watching James Corbett’s work?

Posted by: son of spam | Dec 18 2021 7:48 utc | 70

Wow...

Coronaviruses have been around for 1000s of years

Humankind has been infected by them throughout that time

What makes Covid 19 unique is the Spike protein, which is not on the previous versions

The omnicron variant basically doesn't have the spike protein

So I ask - doesn't this make omnicron one of the old fashioned types? It is a genuine question.

AND my comment is BANNED??

wow. So. Very. Sad.

Posted by: Les7 | Dec 18 2021 8:08 utc | 71

psychohistorian #69

"I also posit that the Covid virus is a bio-weapon that has not turned out as planned and, back to the Omicron variant, whatever happens to this variant going forward is out of the information control of empire."

Mike Pompeo calls Covid a live exercise: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ca7t6cwMhY

If the U.S. has used bioweapons against its own citizens at least 239 times, what's stopping the U.S. from using bioweapons anywhere else?

https://www.mintpressnews.com/lee-camp-america-impressive-history-bioweapons-attacks/277848/

Posted by: Gulo | Dec 18 2021 8:18 utc | 72

@Les7
The omnicron variant basically doesn't have the spike protein

And you basically do not have a brain?

@all

Confirmation of the Hong Kong research!

Important🧵by Ravi and his team

Omicron-> Lung cell infectivity reduced, consistent with Hong Kong findings:
HKUMed finds Omicron SARS-CoV-2 can infect faster and better than Delta in human bronchus but with less severe infection in lung

Which, added to immunity wall of vaccination, would help reduce potential of Covid pneumonia 👍

Gupta Lab @GuptaR_lab

Sharing some potentially significant findings relating to Omicron given the current situation. First of all huge thanks to the team working flat out- Bo Meng, @isabella_atmf and to our collaborators both in G2P, J2P along with @SystemsVirology. Findings as follows: ...


Posted by: b | Dec 18 2021 8:19 utc | 73

"I think that I am usually quite generous with allowing comments that are 'off' to some degree. However, Covid is a serious disease. Check with folks in the ICU nearest to you. They know what they are talking about."
b @67 (for now)

I happen to know many people who work in the ICU. You are indeed correct that COVID (the real, original COVID) is a serious disease. But COVID now is NOT what it is being portrayed to be, such that it should effect such dramatic changes to societies, especially at the Omicron stage; which is more transmissible but expected to be less virulent. There is an agenda to the COVID "narrative" that you, of all people, should be wary of, and in fact have suggested yourself, one of which is for Pfizer/Moderna to sell more vaccines.

There are also control agendas at play. Western societies - we like to think - are beyond totalitarianism. This idea is ingrained in our psyches. Yet, we are rapidly approaching a medical totalitarianism that is NOT based in science, but on fiat.

Pandemic measures where I live make no medical sense. They are clearly a compromise between medical prudence and economic reality. Governments want to be seen as reacting responsibly to the pandemic but do not want to interfere radically with the basic flow of the economy. So, for example, you have situations where people ordering takeout at a restaurant (possibly unvaccinated - horror of horrors!) have to wear masks while the people sitting for hours in the same space do not. On a "science" level, does that make any sense at all? No. And, making no sense, does that increase the confidence of a healthy skeptical person that governments and their medical experts know WTF they are doing? COVID is deadly...but not really.

In terms of human rights, social cohesion and basic flow of the economy, governments being able by executive order to mandate a crappy vaccine is the greatest violation on all counts. The nurses and doctors who are, supposedly, indispensable in a pandemic are now being discarded cavalierly if they refuse to take a vaccine that they KNOW is useless. They KNOW because they see it. They worked through the initial pre-vaccine wave of COVID and they survived its worst punch without a vaccine for a year. When health-worker mandates were imposed, many took the vaccine for pragmatic reasons, but a significant minority refused because they believed they were immune from exposure in their work and they did not want to take an experimental mRNA vaccine. Is that so unreasonable? I think, not. This no longer about the virus - this is about the supposed solution, the vaccine. The stories of recalcitrant health-care workers are not being told in the mainstream media or, apparently, even in MOA.

But...science....the New God...that systematic observation of physical reality that depends on the observation point and the system of observation.

For people too busy with their lives and who lack the education and expertise to systematically study the spread of COVID-19 across the world, how are they supposed to properly evaluate the continuously changing narrative of those who supposedly do? Is everyone supposed to just accept that the authorities know what they are doing when almost everything they have said to date about the importance of vaccination has proven to be false?

The vaccines were originally sold as offering "immunity" and a return to "normal." Then they were merely offering "added protection" and a "reduction of symptoms." Now, apparently, they simply reduce the chance of hospitalization. How they know any of this in a rapidly evolving landscape is unclear. But, in any case, aren't all of these supposed benefits of the COVID "vaccine" what the traditional flu shot was supposed to offer against the flu? Flu shots were never mandated universally to my knowledge.

There is no vaccinating our way out of this pandemic. The only answer is - as ALWAYS- herd immunity, universal precautions and preventable alternate measures (I refuse to name them for fear of being banned). The fact that MOA continues to align itself with the dystopian measures to deal with an over-hyped health emergency is, to me, a sad occurrence.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Dec 18 2021 8:27 utc | 74

@Black bread 34
“The pandemic is covering what is happening behind the scenes, the dismantling and restructuring of the remaining European public health care systems, so that to prepare them for US vulture funds and pharma companies ( in which they seat at the boards the relatives of those in the European Comission in charge of all related to this "pandemic"...) to take over, plus the soft landing and funding ( through already proved useless "vaccines"..) of the bankruptcy of the US derivatives bubble and restructuring of Western banking system, plus the liquidation of little to middle size business to then land into increasing fewer hands, giving place to oligopolies at every economic sector, with which the big corporations will behave mafia like blackmailing us by creating new necessities and artificial shortages, so that we spend all what we have in increasingly useless products and services at increasing higuer prices.”

Black bread, you write like Buckminster Fuller, and that’s meant as a compliment. Screw Hemmingway and his perfect sentences, and anyone else who demands perfect articulation. That sentence/paragraph encompasses so much that it wouldn’t be a stretch to claim that it says it all. Thanks again for dropping by.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 18 2021 8:59 utc | 75

@ 75 AP

That is indeed the crux of the issue.

The mixed messaging of the last two years, where the gov't's hand was forced into allowing businesses to operate belie a truth that is incongruous with the seriousness of the disease, or at least the narrative of this, that they are pushing.

Indeed, school districts pushed the idea of mandating the vaccines for school children and now are promptly pulling back on this, most definitely because they have faced serious push back which would further take more of their student population away from public schools and into private/home school, a trend that has been increasing in the last two years. School districts would therefore lose money and the realization that we do not need the government for every facet of our life, including raising our children, would gain momentum. They would prefer this not happen.

The fact is is the government has sought an equilibrium throughout this whole thing, whereby the covid narrative would continue to exist by not crossing the line which would engender serious backlash against their measures and thus providing the impetus for recalls the state and nation over. It is the same method the empire uses abroad, poking the bear, pulling back, only to poke again. We are all VPPs now, aren't we? Either that, or we are all Baghdad Bobs, where getting to the truth is simply too impossible a task.

To add to my above thought,, I would say that governments are caught in a hopeless endeavor where pandemic fatigue will eventually give way to utter apathy to covid in general. The establishment will have to move onto their next phase of consolidating centralized control by introducing a CBDC.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 18 2021 9:09 utc | 76

Just like threats of sanctions in geopolitics reflect weakness, threats of censorship in scientific and human rights issues is a projection of a weak and hypocritical factual position.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 18 2021 9:25 utc | 77

On long term Covid issues, there was a study that Covid infection drops IQ permanently. Even for asymptomatic cases, there was 1,5 points IQ loss.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 17 2021 21:47 utc | 25

You don't say. This is dead set the first virus that's able to lower the IQ of some people without even being infected with it.

Posted by: A.L. | Dec 18 2021 9:27 utc | 78

"It is obvious by now that the current vaccines do not protect one from becoming infected with Omicron."

These 'vaccines' don't protect anyone from getting infected, nor do they stop the 'vaccinated' from infecting everyone else! What a gigantic scam! b you should be ashamed of yourself for getting caught up in this.

Posted by: barovsky | Dec 18 2021 9:50 utc | 79

How lucky that the omicron mania came to monopolize the news rather than the waning effect of mRNA vaccines after 6 months!

Posted by: Julie | Dec 18 2021 9:52 utc | 80

For me, an easy warning flag that this not what is being stated is that the data we could all use to answer definitively questions which continue to circle around without resolution is simply not being collected.

I would probably take no longer than a week to build a program to input the following data:

1) Age at admission (number)
2) Symptoms leading to admission (from admissions database select from list)
3) Vaccination status (fields: unvaccinated, vaccinated once in prior 14 days, once post 14 days, twice prior 14 days. twice post 14 days, booster prior 14 days, booster post 14 days. Vaccine type.)
3) Covid positivity result (test everyone at admission. Positive or negative)
4) Number of morbid conditions present (the comorbidities. Select items from a multiple selection list)
5) ITU status (did they end up in ITU) (yes/no)
6) ITU was admission due to covid symptoms (yes/no)
7) Death: was the death caused by covid symptoms (yes/n0)

I'm sure there are fields that could be added. Filling out simple checklists is standard hospital practice. It would be simple to collate that data at a hospital/area/national level and have realtime data publicly available.

This, for me would be science. Everyone could see the data. Public policy could then be based on sound metrics.

The fact that this has never been considered is a big flag to me that this is not about public health.

Secondly, treatments. This is not a settled issue, data needs to be analysed. However, the fact that it is not part of the public discussion is a big red flag. We know that both unvaccinated and vaccinated can catch covid. At that point, when interventions will be most useful, what should a person do to fight infection? In the public discourse the answer seems to be: hope you don't get very sick. That seems contrary to the basic principles of treating disease.


Posted by: ahji | Dec 18 2021 10:14 utc | 81

Tell all the vaccinated people,
the vaccine you took will not protect you against the new variant..
so you must get another jab.

Tell all the unvaccinated people,
you're not protected if you're not jabbed. So you must get the same jab that didnt protect your vaccinated counterparts.

Many a vaccinated fool will get covid, have a bad case, and then be first in line for their booster. Why? Do they want to feel more virtuous bc they "did the right thing?" Are they too brainwashed to think for themselves? Or is it simply blind faith in government?
All are bad excuses.

Posted by: F.Bomb | Dec 18 2021 10:51 utc | 82

I think the population of South Africa is much younger that that of the UK, which might lead to less hospitalisations, though SA has a larger population than the UK, so it could balance itself out with regards to folk kept in hospital. The problem in the UK is that its Winter time and decades of underfunding by Westminster to the vital NHS has seen it rundown, and in an average Winter without the pandemic included the NHS struggles, a few years ago the Red Cross declared England's NHS to be in a humanitarian crisis, throw in the pandemic and all the NHS bodies across the UK are now overstretched understaffed and lacking real funding, and are intruth unable to cope.

The amount of hospitalisations from Omicron in the UK will be critical to how the NHS bodies across the UK function this Winter, this is why precautions must be taken.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Dec 18 2021 10:56 utc | 83

Thanks b for attending to the wolf howls. They are mournful and sad to hear.

These who don’t quite seem to grasp scientific method and the obvious trollers and the many desperate and honest who can’t believe that the ‘problem’ is not as easy to solve as taking a panacea of a magic ‘red pill’; or still believing in Santa; or a God and making a prayer or sacrifice; is all that is needed.

To want to believe in ‘THEY’ , who apparently only want to make massive profits from humanity and kill us all! Whilst forgetting that even the mightiest are born as babies as are their dynasties and they also have to live in the world - are they all magically immune? Whilst the poor are left to die? I will return to that at the end.
———
The English PM Johnson who was born a prick and has been an entitled giant prick amongst the herd of pricks nurtured from childhood, did let slip the briefing he was given at the beginning - ‘let the bodies pile high’.

He was hothoused to be such a naughty school boy charlatan with scuffed hair to make him a ‘lovable Just William’ type of naughty schoolboy so beloved of British fiction and adoration.
A cold blooded killer in a bouncing Bambi/Tigger disguise, just like Blair was.

Duly multiple plane load fulls equivalent of death fall out of the sky every week is what we have become desensitised to over the course of the last 22 months! Churchill himself oversaw ‘only’ 79k civilian casualties in the cruel bombings of WW2. Bozo has gone through double that and is cruising towards triple!

When a thousand excess deaths a month were noteworthy in the first year hundred plus a day now are not worth bothering about! That is where the propaganda and Narrative management has succeeded.
————
It is interesting to hear that the inactivated virus Sinovax is maybe not as effective as the Human adenovirus Sputnik in this latest strain that is spreading so much faster. I’d like to know more about the Cuban version for which there seems to be no reference easily available - I searched and can’t even establish what type of vector it is. And I would like to have a clear analysis of natural vs vaccine immunities for all versions - there is no way that data does not exist by now!

Maybe b’s greater data gathering and analysis skills will allow a full appraisal of the many interventions available.

——-
Amongst the end facts will be that the worlds most populace country survived the possible mass spreading of SarsCov2, with a minimal excess death rate through early and hard control of movement.
It exterminated the deadly virus as it arose through that hard lockdown early on - they cancelled their New Year movements of a billions of individuals flights!

A possibility that the western foes didn’t think was possible given the timescale between start of infection and these holidays some weeks later.
———-

A Xmas tale!

So to finish on a ‘grand conspiracy theory’ I can speculate the grand worldwide Imperial battle plan against the non-Aryan peoples - they are 6/7 times as many - would fit in as a means of keeping us apart through medical necessity - the Epidemic.

It stops flights and movements that also reduces the pressures of travel and stress upon the environment.
(Yup they know they have to do something about man made environment disasters!)

Hear me out.

We in the ‘west’ are encouraged to become perma-carriers of a biology that is toxic to these peoples who succeeded in exterminating the virus. It means that for that rising Empire to avoid the fate of the New World being conquered through the ensuing collapse of their civilisations by European diseases, a great barrier had to been thrown up between Humanity. Each and everyone of us in the ‘West’ is turned into a ‘weapon’ whether we realise or want it. A great and terrible new weapon for the latest World War!

As a corollary of my comment last night about a silver lining of herd immunity from this rapid and mass infected population is that being a easily mutating virus there will undoubtedly be many more mutations arising ! The ‘Kent’ version that spread throughout the World started from this Island, this latest (last?) could give rise to an even deadlier version especially to these who have no naturally acquired immunity!

We are made toxic to each other needing to be kept apart within the shrinking Empire - which needs to keep its traditional serfs available to cater to the needs of their Ancient masters as they plot to survive and rise again down the centuries!

I’ll submit that as my Xmas tale! We must retain a sense of humour. Even if it is the gallows variety.
———

Stay safe all - it will be all over by the next Christmas ! one one way or another!😂

Posted by: D.G. | Dec 18 2021 11:46 utc | 84

A.L. @ 79

This is dead set the first virus that's able to lower the IQ of some people without even being infected with it

Hahaha, touché. Yes, getting so many people to cheerlead their own enslavement is quite the remarkable achievement! I'd wait patiently for history to sort out these fools, but as history is largely written by the victors, I fear my wait'll be in vain.

Posted by: john | Dec 18 2021 11:56 utc | 85

The Battle for Fear is on.

(or should I say, "it continues")

b wrote:

Does it cause a more severe illness?

We still do not know for sure.

The main headline at Reuters is about Omnicron.

Omicron more likely to reinfect than Delta, no milder -study

The above is for headline readers. It is no milder than Delta.
The first paragraph is more nuanced.


Dec 17 (Reuters) - The risk of reinfection with the Omicron coronavirus variant is more than five times higher and it has shown no sign of being milder than Delta, a study showed, as cases soar across Europe and threaten year-end festivities.

Two paragraphs later they say that the Fear headline is not based on much
but they went ahead with the Fear headline anyways.

"We find no evidence (for both risk of hospitalisation attendance and symptom status) of Omicron having different severity from Delta," the study said, although it added that data on hospitalisations remains very limited.

If you continued to drill down you find a surprise admission. But Reuters still thought
it was ok to make a big splash Fear headline.


TOO EARLY?

But Dr Clive Dix, former Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, said it was important not to overinterpret the data.

"The conclusions made are based on making assumptions about Omicron where we still don't have sufficient data," Dr Dix said. "For example, we have no data on the cellular immune response which is now probably driving effectiveness of vaccines."

"This is a crucial missing assumption in the modelling."


Posted by: librul | Dec 18 2021 12:09 utc | 86

@Posted by: librul | Dec 18 2021 12:09 utc | 88

You could read the headline at Reuters yourself right now,
but for posterity here is the linked story.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/omicron-five-times-more-likely-reinfect-than-delta-study-says-2021-12-17/

Here is the bottom line of the story:


The new findings could accelerate the imposition of tighter restrictions across a number of European countries in a bid to stem the new variant's spread

Decision makers are headline readers
in all appearances.

Posted by: librul | Dec 18 2021 12:18 utc | 87

Funny to see how that post from our "pro-vax" host mirror that recent one from "anti-vax" Dr Malone on the very same subject, reaching pretty much the same conclusion :

"This is why this new finding from a team at Hong Kong University is so significant. Because it indicates that what may be most important about Omicron may not be the ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity, but that it has shifted its preferred tissue target for infection and replication to the upper airway instead of deep lung. That could explain why it is more infectious, replicates to higher levels, and yet causes less severe disease.

Let’s hope that is our best gift this Christmas."

https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/has-omicron-shifted-receptor-binding?r=ta0o1&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Posted by: malamatias | Dec 18 2021 12:38 utc | 88

Posted by: malamatias | Dec 18 2021 12:38 utc | 90

Well, the thing is, from the virus' point of view, a healthy host who sheds like crazy is the best solution, so it makes sense to evolve in the direction of less virulence, and more infectiousness.

But how many people have to die so the virus can evolve? Better to just stop it, like China has been doing.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 18 2021 12:53 utc | 89

monello #53

The question is not how many under 50 yo died from or WITH covid, the question is was it an excess mortality in Italy under 50 or under 40 or what else.

Posted by: Olivier | Dec 18 2021 13:01 utc | 90

DG #86

"A possibility that the western foes didn’t think was possible given"

What was possible was to make billions of profit by selling mRNA building only one protein and what the fuck for any possible consequences like the deaths of people who are nothing or breaking the economy so that a few can collect what will be left to make even more profit on the long run...

Posted by: Olivier | Dec 18 2021 13:14 utc | 91

@D.G. | Dec 18 2021 11:46 utc | 86
"I’d like to know more about the Cuban version for which there seems to be no reference easily available
- I searched and can’t even establish what type of vector it is."

Not sure if this will help or not. Maybe some of the links will.
Cuban vax
Soberana 02

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 18 2021 13:18 utc | 92

The vaccine doesn't prevent transmission and may reduce symptoms (or may not), and (still) doesn't prevent infection, ergo you'd better get vaccinated or else lose the rights and privileges of citizenship, assuming you have any to begin with.

Where is thew science in this perspective?

How long until the 40% of Americans who exercise self sovereignty start a shooting war? All depends on how openly the Democrats cheat in the mid-term elections.

I am confident America isn't simply dead. she was murdered - not by individuals or conspiracy, but by mass stupidity.

Posted by: New Guy | Dec 18 2021 13:19 utc | 93

librul @89

Thanks! As N Taleb says "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Posted by: spudski | Dec 18 2021 13:37 utc | 94

Posted by: Cesare | Dec 17 2021 22:46 utc | 36

classic WWII anecdote about planes coming back from bombing runs over Germany. We need to armor everything but the engines, you see, because they don't get hit there.
Never heard of that one, but doubt it'd be the RAF who used systems analysts to examine these suggestions. One well known/documented one covered fitting de-icing equipment to RAF bombers. Rejected because the de-icing equipment added enough weight to bombers that more would be needed to deliver desired bomb loads, so many extra bombers that loses to flak/night fighters/etc. would be substantially greater than loses from bombers icing up. Sounds heartless but actually saved lives within the wartime operational needs.

I know you can argue with hindsight that RAF strategic bombing campaign was ineffective but doing nothing at the time was really not an option.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 18 2021 13:45 utc | 95

The issue with Omicron is that the more it spreads, the more it is likely to evolve into a new variant that could turn out to be more deadly or virulent than previous strains.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Dec 18 2021 14:36 utc | 96

bevin @ 31

What was so good about "the old normal" (aka Yankee Imperialism)?

What’s that got to do with the point I was making? You want to go on a rant about Yankee imperialism be my guest but don’t piggy back on my comment as if I was defending it.

The notion that the pandemic is being used to institute some novel form of authoritarianism seems to be founded on an amazingly rosy view of the world that Washington ruled without challenge.

There we go again!

In fact the Empire is collapsing as a result of its own contradictions,

The empire knows it’s current incarnation is unsustainable and they are wringing out all they can before they discard it. The Empire is not dying, it is morphing aka the Great Reset aka techno feudalism.

one of the most notable of which is the inability of capitalism to sacrifice its short term interests (Xmas sales, for example, or restaurant business) to the needs of public health.

That is probably the most ignorant comment I’ve read in a while here. Tens of thousands of small and medium size enterprises have been sacrificed, hundreds of thousands permanently unemployed due to the devastating economic losses brought on by the measures implemented to combat the pandemic. How ignorant do you have to be to not see the devastating socio-economic impact of the lockdowns?
That is why, while China has managed to restrict its deaths to around 5000 in total every ally of the USA suffers wave after wave of epidemic and constantly mounting death tolls in the hundreds of thousands.

The empire is using the pandemic to implement the social/political/economic changes it would not otherwise have been able to without the pandemic. Even Klaus Schwab is on record saying the pandemic has presented them with an opportunity to restructure society along the lines the WEF wants. “You will own nothing and be happy”
The "old normal" plus a rapidly spreading virus = the rolling crisis of the pandemic.

As I say above the crisis will end when they have implemented the Reset.Then they won’t need the pandemic anymore.

All of which is completely obvious and only needs pointing out because there are so many people- either fools or imperialist trolls- denying the reality of the pandemic and offering excuses for the ruling oligarchies' callous incapacity in the face of a public health crisis which surprised nobody, was telegraphed in the Sars 1 outbreaks and other earnests of globalised hygiene.

When they start deporting the unvaccinated to the camps that are being built you can volunteer as a camp guard to show what a virtuous citizen of the new order you are.

Posted by: Down South | Dec 18 2021 15:16 utc | 97

"News" from the CBC:

Epidemiologist says COVID-19 is airborne and it's time to rethink measures

Posted by: spudski | Dec 18 2021 15:44 utc | 98

@101 spudski - re: epidemiologist says C19 airborne

Omg no s##t! How could this possibly even be a question after almost 2 years? Time to just give up and let nature take its course, if this is the best we can do.

Posted by: ptb | Dec 18 2021 15:58 utc | 99

@ 101 spudski

Here’s a new “measure” to tackle that Covid problem: better PSAs. A teacher asks her elementary students to develop a PSA encouraging kids to get vaxxed and these two brothers create a song!

https://twitter.com/CBCTheNational/status/1472159707070709762?s=20

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Dec 18 2021 16:07 utc | 100

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