Omicron may be the successor to Delta

I first heard about the Omicron variant last night, from Dr Norman Swann:

Little is known about the Omicron variant of Covid19, but it is being blamed for a sudden, sharp spike in new infections in South Africa:

Dr John Campbell explains what we know about the new variant, and what it may mean for the pandemic in this must see video:

The dot points I took from the video are:

  • Omicron has 32 mutations which may make it more infectious than Delta,
  • The mutations may allow it to elude the immunity supplied by vaccines [ALL vaccines],
  • No one knows whether Omicron will make you more sick or less,
  • It has already escaped from South Africa into Hong Kong and Belgium,
  • Most of Europe and the UK have just banned travel from South Africa,
  • The travel bans are to give scientists time to find out more about Omicron, and for Pharmaceutical companies to tweak existing vaccines to be more effective against the variant,
  • Both the US and Australia have adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude,
  • By the time we ‘see’ how dangerous Omicron can be, it may well be too late.

On a personal note, I’m booked in for my second AstraZeneca jab this Monday. I was hoping to enjoy a latte before Christmas, but I guess I’ll ‘wait and see’ how bad Omicron gets before the Offspring and I emerge from self-isolation. I really, really hope this variant does turn out to be a ‘storm in a tea cup’. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

57 responses to “Omicron may be the successor to Delta

  • thelevinelowdown

    Wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading it and listening to your thoughts about this new variant. I have also recently published an article on my blog about Omicron. However, mine was very much a criticism of the media coverage on the new variant which I have found really disappointing. I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on my article if you get the chance! Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Here we go again, Andrea. I wondered with my husband yesterday if we were ever going to be done with this. Maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    I wish they’d chosen another letter of the alphabet. Just the look of how it’s spelt is a bit doomy-and-gloomy … it’s the writer in me I ‘spects. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    Just had my booster jab. Vaccinate, mask up and be careful!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Books & Bonsai

    I am beginning to think there is something far more sinister going on. Why are we being attacked by all these virus these days?

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I think the sheer numbers of us, plus the speed at which we can move around is at least partly to blame. There have always been plagues because viruses and bacteria are opportunistic and will fill any niche left open. We think we control our world, but really we only control the surface layer. We’re good at playing pinball, but every now and then, things get away from us. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 2 people

      • Widdershins

        Also, idiots. Lots of idiots.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Books & Bonsai

        I can’t help feeling that this is not a natural progression, for if it is, what has made it accelerate so quickly?

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I’m no expert, but as I understand it, Covid has been mutating all along, and that’s to do with how quickly it replicates. In humans, for example, a mutation [that didn’t kill its host], would require the person with the mutation to grow up and have kids of their own. Those kids would then have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the mutation. The ones who did inherit it would then have to meet and reproduce with someone else who had the mutation, etc etc etc. So if the original mutation didn’t kill its host, it could take hundreds if not thousands of year for it to spread through even a small portion of the human population.
          Viruses don’t need any of that. They replicate blindingly fast so any mutation that /helps/ them has the potential to spread very fast too.

          The fact that humans travel all over the world doesn’t help. Even in the deepest lockdown, some travel did happen.
          If we had said right from the start: “ok, deadly virus coming, every single country lock your borders /now/ and keep them locked until the virus runs out of new victims” we’d be fine.
          Of course that simply can’t happen because few countries are actually self-sufficient. That’s how our global economy has evolved.

          Sorry to go on for so long Anita, but to me, it all seems completely inevitable. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          Liked by 1 person

          • Books & Bonsai

            There still seems to be an awful lot of what should have been expected and nothing done about. And why aren’t all countries self sufficient?

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            I think this pandemic has brought all our failings into sharp focus. All the planning is based on best case scenarios, and that extends to all our trade agreements. Back when I was a young woman, Australia has a manufacturing industry. It was smaller and miles more expensive than cheaper imports, but we could make most of what we needed. Then global trade became a thing and our manufacturing industry died. So when the pandemic hit, we couldn’t make our own PPE. Or hand sanitiser. All of that was imported and suddenly every manufacturing country needed all it could make for domestic consumption. -shrug- We’re ok now but in the beginning our stockpiles simply weren’t enough because…you’ll never get a pandemic in the modern world. Look at our technology! Our science! Blah blah. In the end we had to make do with the same primitive techniques as they did in 1918 – masks, ventilation, wash your hands, don’t breathe on others. We are such a short-sighted species. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            Liked by 1 person

          • Books & Bonsai

            Where are all the revolutionaries?

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            I think the conspiracy theorists and the anti-vaxxers think that /they/ are the revolutionaries. The world desperately needs changing, just wish they’d picked something genuine to rebel against. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            Liked by 1 person

          • Books & Bonsai

            That might be too much to wish for…

            Liked by 1 person

  • cedar51

    I’m across the ditch, where my region, Auckland is still in some sort of restrictive world. It seems daily, a new declaration comes forth from the powers to be!
    This evening, Saturday it’s now day 102 since our semi normal world disappeared…and we have moved through a series of #”things”… much of it seems a bit nonsensical and I’ve stopped watching the daily messages because I feel like “I’m being talked down to…”
    My life has definitely changed…
    Cheers Catherine

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      -sigh- Commiserations, Catherine. We still have restrictions here in Melbourne, and I suspect we’re all going to have to get used to a certain level of ‘change’. I think wearing masks will become normal in certain situations – like public transport. What else will change, no one knows. I guess that’s what’s so very unsettling about all this – science is running like crazy to catch up with the virus while short-sighted self-interest ensures that the virus is always a few steps ahead of us.
      Was reading about some pastors essentially telling their congregations not to get vaccinated. I simply don’t understand. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

      • cedar51

        There is a few Pastors here who have said the same. Plus added that our Freedom was against all manner of reasons, including human rights. The Mandatory aspects come in for much anguish as well and many have been fined etc.
        Last year it was the elders who got sick and died But this year those who are much younger have been the ones getting sick, because apparently they thought they were immune! Oops…

        I too can’t see the logic in not being vaccinated…the majority of those not, have been vaccinated as babies against all kinds of illnesses.

        As for those against Vaccine Passports, in the 1960s I had one so I could travel to all kinds of places, along with malaria tablets for certain other places…you didn’t want to get sick

        The younger generation doesn’t get it, IMHO

        have a great day, off my soapbox

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Yes! I agree completely Catherine! We grew up being taught about our obligations to /each other/. Social responsibility being the glue that holds the social contract in place. 99.9% of us would die if we were suddenly forced to survive on our own, without any of the protections society provides. Those protections come at a price. The protestors want to have their cake and eat it too. :/

          Liked by 2 people

  • Matthew Wright

    The emergence of new Covid variants is a clear demonstration of how evolution actually happens. Unfortunately. Delta was effectively a whole new viral ball-game. As you say, who knows about Omicron. And, of course, there will be other variants. One can but hope that they reduce in lethality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Amen to that, Matthew. I know I’m being ridiculous and selfish but…dammit, I want just a little time to enjoy my jabs!
      In a very welcome update, the Feds announced border closures to the countries affected by Omicron. Won’t stop it long term, but hopefully we’ll know how to cope with it once it does arrive.
      What’s NZ doing?

      Like

  • petespringerauthor

    Besides the obvious physical dangers, the whole mental piece of this continued pandemic is concerning. I just got my booster shot on Wednesday (Pfizer). No side effects, other than a sore arm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      I’m so glad you’ve had your booster, Pete. If Omicron does end up being worse than Delta, we’ll all need every scrap of help we can get.
      The mental thing…gawd, that’s a hard one. I know from my own reaction that I’m over this pandemic. But…what’s the alternative? We can’t just roll over and wait to see if we’re one of the unlucky ones. I guess this really is like a war. We all want it to be over but until it is, we just have to soldier one. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 2 people

  • anne54

    My heart fell when I heard this on the news last night. Although it is to be expected, I would rather be an ostrich with my head in the sand!
    We have been warned that a new variant will emerge from poorer nations that have not been able to achieve good vaccination coverage. We are paying the price for the greed of wealthy nations to snap up dosages, with disregard for the rest of the world. You just need to look at Australia’s poor response to PNG’s needs, including help to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      You me both, Anne. It was literally one of those awful elevator moments. Knowing something is possible doesn’t really prepare us for the reality.
      All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope for the best. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Like

  • CarolCooks2

    Here we go again…there is a song in there somewhere…sigh..If only everyone would get the vaccine much of this would have been avoided…sigh

    Liked by 2 people

  • Candy Korman

    I’m so worried! I have friends from & in South Africa. This virus keeps finding ways to morph while all too many people refuse the vaccineโ€”the single most important weapon we have against it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Me too, Candy. I have friends who don’t believe in vaccines generally, and I’m too scared to contact them in case I find they’ve refused the vaccines. What do you say?
      Robbie and her family are fully vaxxed, but we don’t yet know if the vaccines will actually work against Omicron. Please take care. New York is a world hub. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Like

      • Candy Korman

        There’s a growing divide between “I need to be free to choose” and “I need live in a healthy community.” I wish I had a way to convince people to think beyond their immediate, personal concerns. Vaccination protects the community AND the individuals, so people who believe that they are healthy and therefore invulnerable OR believe that the vaccines are dodgy science, endanger all of us.

        I’ve tried rational discussions that reference polio and other successful vaccination programs, but rational/science doesn’t work.

        In a weird way, many reluctant vaccine folks are getting ostracized from normal life. NYC has mandates and many businesses, events and organizations require vaccination proof. You can’t enter a restaurant, theater or museum without it. I know people who’ve lost their jobs because they refuse. We’ll see how things go in the coming months…

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Yes. ‘rational/science doesn’t work’ is perhaps the scariest part of this whole pandemic. I understand the distrust of Big Pharma and the desire to go back to a more ‘natural’ way of life, but unless you live on a desert island, that is no longer a personal decision.
          I guess the divide between the vaxxed and the unvaxxed will continue to grow. We have lockout laws against the unvaxxed too. Society may well send the unvaxxed to a kind of social desert island. What that will do long term, I don’t know. But I don’t think it will be good. For them or for us. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          Like

  • daleleelife101.blog

    No opportunity for complacency… huh? Even just bearing min mind Delta, I’ve resigned myself to being habitually very very carefully. As the saying goes… We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto ๐Ÿ™ƒ

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Nope, no complacency at all. The whole time I was writing the post I was quietly swearing to myself. I was sooooo looking forward to that damn latte. Who knows what the situation will be like by the time I’m fully vaccinated against the earlier variants? ptfuuui…..

      Liked by 1 person

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