Coronavirus prep

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  • lokihen
    lokihen Posts: 375 Member
    What makes me twitchy is how quickly the WHO has moved to name omicron a variant of concern. Delta was first identified in Oct, 2020. Does anyone remember how long it took for it to be labeled a voc?
  • 33gail33
    33gail33 Posts: 1,155 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    While there are lots of scary articles about the south African variant, they are based on very limited data. Most of the pros I follow on social media are saying that while this is concerning, other variants have been concerning and turned out to not be a problem.

    From what I understand, any new variant has to be more transmissible than the current dominant variant, otherwise it can't get a foothold and dies out. So even if this new guy is better at evading vaccines, if it is less transmissible than Delta it won't matter. Also, it "looks" like it "may" be able to evade vaccines, that's not for sure yet.

    The South African scientific community did a fabulous service to the world by identifying and sharing news of this variant so quickly!

    That was yesterday’s news - today’s says that the new variant has taken over 75% of new South American cases in a week and is well on it’s way to being 100% in short order. Unless there’s been a mistake made, it looks super transmissible. And there are four cases in HK in fully vaxxed people. I think the only reason I’m not panicking is that my adrenaline system is so worn out from the past two years that I’m now incapable of panic. The good news, such as it is, is that the vax makers think it would “only” take about three months to get a new vax out tailor made for this variant.

    Like I said, not panicking - just really really tired of this and wanting to hear some good news.

    I haven't seen anything saying it has hit South America that hard. Do you mean South Africa?
  • SummerSkier
    SummerSkier Posts: 3,757 Member
    @spiriteagle99 I hear you. It seems like we are in an endless cycle with this virus. :( I was just looking at some #s. US Pop 333.7M, and identified 49.05M cases. Is that really possible that almost 14.7% of the US pop has had a case? Did I math that right? As far as World total 261.2M cases vs 7,846M Pop seems 3.3% (just using the data from the NYT website)
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,974 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    The South African Health Minister says the vast majority of hospitalizations are still unvaxxed. There has been very slow uptake of vaccines in SA and surrounding countries. Said there is no data to suggest the new variant evades vaccine protection. That was a worry based on the number and placement of the mutations found in the lab, but so far there is no real world data to back that up.

    (Disclaimer: this is what I read from a doctor who listened to the statement, I didn't listen myself.)

    I was hoping TWIV would have something on it, but today's release did not include discussion of the new variant as far as I can tell. Likely too little info or lead time since WHO just held their emergency meeting yesterday. STAT had a good summary on the known/unknown regarding the new Omicron and what it could mean.

    https://www.statnews.com/2021/11/26/whats-known-and-unknown-about-the-coronavirus-variant-identified-in-south-africa/
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    While there are lots of scary articles about the south African variant, they are based on very limited data. Most of the pros I follow on social media are saying that while this is concerning, other variants have been concerning and turned out to not be a problem.

    From what I understand, any new variant has to be more transmissible than the current dominant variant, otherwise it can't get a foothold and dies out. So even if this new guy is better at evading vaccines, if it is less transmissible than Delta it won't matter. Also, it "looks" like it "may" be able to evade vaccines, that's not for sure yet.

    The South African scientific community did a fabulous service to the world by identifying and sharing news of this variant so quickly!

    That was yesterday’s news - today’s says that the new variant has taken over 75% of new South American cases in a week and is well on it’s way to being 100% in short order. Unless there’s been a mistake made, it looks super transmissible. And there are four cases in HK in fully vaxxed people. I think the only reason I’m not panicking is that my adrenaline system is so worn out from the past two years that I’m now incapable of panic. The good news, such as it is, is that the vax makers think it would “only” take about three months to get a new vax out tailor made for this variant.

    Like I said, not panicking - just really really tired of this and wanting to hear some good news.

    I haven't seen anything saying it has hit South America that hard. Do you mean South Africa?

    Oops, sorry this was a brain fart! Yes, South Africa.
  • ElioraFR
    ElioraFR Posts: 91 Member
    This new variant is called Omicron and has 50 mutations making it unlike the original one that the vaccine was modeled on. Stay safe everyone vaccinated or not it is spreading very fast.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,276 Member
    @spiriteagle99 I hear you. It seems like we are in an endless cycle with this virus. :( I was just looking at some #s. US Pop 333.7M, and identified 49.05M cases. Is that really possible that almost 14.7% of the US pop has had a case? Did I math that right? As far as World total 261.2M cases vs 7,846M Pop seems 3.3% (just using the data from the NYT website)

    Columbia thinks 1/3 of the US had Covid by the end of 2020. Who know what it is almost a year later.

    https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/one-three-americans-already-had-covid-19-end-2020
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    @spiriteagle99 I hear you. It seems like we are in an endless cycle with this virus. :( I was just looking at some #s. US Pop 333.7M, and identified 49.05M cases. Is that really possible that almost 14.7% of the US pop has had a case? Did I math that right? As far as World total 261.2M cases vs 7,846M Pop seems 3.3% (just using the data from the NYT website)

    Columbia thinks 1/3 of the US had Covid by the end of 2020. Who know what it is almost a year later.

    https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/one-three-americans-already-had-covid-19-end-2020
    If you assume a 1% fatality rate, 777,000 deaths means roughly 78 million Americans have had Covid, which is what, about 23%? If you assume Covid is less fatal than that, it means even more people have had it.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,889 Member
    When I said things will probably be entirely different in a month and a half, I should explain that the forecast is not for the better. The experts here expect a spike in cases in January. That's when my SIL said they'd like me to come home, because my brother (who lives with my mother and is a NVax) always goes to Mexico for a month or two in January and February. My SIL said that they are also planning a trip for FEB.

    My husband (who loves my family) said "Are they nuts? January and February are the absolute worse 2 months to go to Minnesota", and of course, COVID will be spiking. Also, there are 7 of us. Being the oldest, I always feel responsible. It's easy to guilt-trip me.

    That is a lot of variables to weigh. I don't envy you that tough calculus. Especially when people in the same living group don't have the same risk tolerance (or approach to risk entirely). The public messaging here has been to plan your togetherness around the risk to the most vulnerable person. Maybe the unvaccinated brother can plan his trip to be away for the duration of the covid spike? Not sure about Mexico (maybe someone on the thread knows), but many countries require proof of vaccination in addition to proof of negative test result to enter.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    The following is just my summary of what I read this afternoon from virologists/epidemiologists I follow on twitter and FB, so please feel free to take it with a grain of salt!

    Don't know if/how much omicron might evade vaccines. Remember that vaccine protection is not all or nothing. At most, it would just make vaxxed people slightly more likely to get infected. It's not like everyone goes back to square one.

    It is not known if omicron will out compete Delta, as there wasn't much Delta in S Africa. If omicron IS becoming dominant in SA, it's out competing whatever variant they had.

    Not enough data to judge severity of omicron, but the small initial sample size is promising. In fact, it would actually be good if omicron out competes Delta but is less severe, which is possible.

    Vaccines would most likely just need to be tweaked, if even that is necessary. Initial data sounds like still all (or practically all) hospitalizations are unvaxxed.

    Also remember there have been other variants of concern that looked dangerous in one place they got a foothold but never managed to get traction anywhere else.
    Yep, if Omicron is more transmissible but milder, it could be a blessing. Praying!