Early reports that Omicron is substantially milder than other SARS-2 strains are every day confirmed by new data. A month into the unprecedented South African case spike, driven entirely by Omicron, Corona deaths remain low. It’s earlier days in the United Kingdom, where Omicron is only just over half of cases. So far, though, it is the same story there:
In the coming months, Omicron will outcompete all other lineages everywhere in the world. At that point, Corona will have completed its transformation into a mild coronavirus that nobody should care about, in the same way that nobody cares about other common human-infecting coronaviruses like hCoV-OC43. Unforeseen developments are always possible; Omicron might in time acquire greater pathogenicity. Particularly if we insist on vaccinating widely, we might drive its evolution in new and potentially dangerous directions. Those are, however, mere possibilities. Right now, everything tells us that the virus part of the pandemic will soon be over.
The major question, is how the rest of the Corona Circus will respond. Some thoughts on that:
In the short term, rising cases will probably fuel demand for more vaccinations. This is the blunt, stupid way that our public health experts respond to infections now, but it is not a game that will go well for the vaccinators. The vaccines will fail even more profoundly in stopping Omicron transmission, and there will be far fewer severe outcomes for them to prevent. I don’t know how long the crackpot vaccination regime can survive overt absurdities like this.
Omicron will probably also unwind the broader containment regime. South Africa has already abandoned their most intrusive tracing, quarantine and isolation policies, declaring a shift towards mitigation (which is what they should have done in the first place). Trying to defeat a minimally symptomatic highly contagious virus with the comically inadequate tools of the contact tracer is simply too ridiculous.
In the longer term, things look much more uncertain. It is hard to shake the feeling that Corona has swept away the last vestiges of liberal democracy in Europe, and perhaps in the whole world. I don’t think these political systems have been very good for the West, but our new theocratic regimes steered by the Corona astrologers have been vastly worse. As soon as the hysteria boils off, many of these villains will begin trying to get the panic machine up and running again. The alternative is a future where nobody much cares what they have to think, where they’re no longer able to interfere in millions of lives, and – perhaps most crucially – where a lot of politicians, journalists, and ordinary people begin to realise what utter failures they and their policies have been. There are failures that lose you your job, there are failures that make you a public disgrace, and then there are their failures, the kind that lead to arrest, indictment, imprisonment, and worse.
I have been continually amazed at my fellow citizens' willingness to believe in the existence of a ebola-level pandemic. Even though, if they were to honestly evaluate their day-to-day life over the past two years they should come to another conclusion...? I think these people would be prepared to continue to have hysterics about a cold, supplemented by faked statistics and biased reporting - probably for years.
We need to stand up and make our voices heard. The political class has every reason not to back down, but to keep pushing hard. Vaccine mandates, monthly boosters, lockdowns, quarantine camps, whatever it takes to keep control of the narrative and stay in power.
And the police in Germany cannot deal with hundreds of large and small protests occurring simultaneously on Mondays at 18:00 all over the country (thank you Saxony!). The protests are getting larger every week. It is truly invigorating to meet so many like-minded people from all walks of life.
Omicron has been almost like a blessing, as it truly is the end of the pandemic as a dangerous virus
On the other hand, containment hysteria continue unabated; and it seems most intensely in the places that least require it.
Schools? Universities? I never realized how much administrators actually hate young people; how they justify the imprisonment and misery just to pay homage to a virus which is harmless to the young. My kids are now in the state of mind that school is where they go to experience bullshit; they are not even 10 years old. They have said as much, and have lost respect for the institution. I have mixed feelings about this.
More travel measures. More testing. More masks. More more more. I'm slowly resigned to constructing my life in such a way that I no longer interact with the most corona-ed areas of society because this is going to be a long term thing. How, and why, many a dozen people who self-identify as "experts" because they have the right degrees and so called credentials are able to continue to exert such a power over the world, baffles me to no end, but then again, High Priests of all religions command great power - the Why is not relevant. There can be untold death and misery and somehow that cements their power rather than destroys it.
As for pushing back- this substack and a handful of others are where I go to get my daily dose of humanity and reason. I continue to try and do my part to resist all the insanity - but from time to time I wonder if it would just be easier to "drink from the crazy river" and to stop trying to scream at a hurricane