Covid Revisits

Ukraine has been occupying news headlines for weeks now, and with some justification. Clearly, a nuclear war would end life on this planet as we know it, making issues like Covid and elections irrelevant.

However, assuming no dictator is suicidal (why purchase the world’s largest yacht if you want to kill yourself?), nuclear war will not happen and these other issues will still matter.

Omicron BA.2, the new variant, is raising infection rates and hospitalizations in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Taiwan, China and South Korea. BA.2 was also responsible for 11% of new infections in the US in the first week in March, up from 6% in the prior week. As Dr. Fauci has noted on more than one occasion, whatever happens in the UK also happens in the US.

BA.2 is a nasty on several counts:

  • Superficially, it resembles the Delta version of the virus and requires more testing to differentiate it. If labs don’t do the additional work, it will be misclassified.
  • This version can reinfect people who have just recovered from the original Omicron strain, BA.1.
  • Current vaccines offer limited protection.
  • We still have 22% of the US who are unvaccinated, including almost everyone under five years of age. The number of unvaccinated may be undercounted due to dishonesty about vaccine status. (The tracking systems implemented in the US seem to be of limited value if people move across state lines. The 18th century Federal system flunks again.)

I continue to use masks and do most of my work remotely whenever possible.

Star image from Webb telescope test, NASA

Sources:

  1. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/03/20/world-cornavirus-italyfrance-cases-surge/5061647782917/
  2. https://news.yahoo.com/covid-variant-ba-2-drives-125824451.html
  3. https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2022-03-08/cdc-data-ba-2-variant-or-stealth-omicron-responsible-for-more-than-1-in-10-coronavirus-cases

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