Start the Countdown to Maximum Fear Porn
The omicron peak could inspire the most draconian policies to date
Omicron has rewritten the record books for new Covid infections.
As I have documented since November, this is good news and signals the end of the pandemic. Any rational person will agree with me. But the people who were made famous by the pandemic will exploit this darkest-before-dawn moment to solidify their power and wealth.
How High Will New Cases Go?
The record high 7-day average for new cases is currently 251,232 on January 11, 2021. But that record was set on a day when the total new cases for the day was 226,316. In other words, there was less acceleration leading up to that peak.
This time is different. Yesterday's moving average was 243,099, just about 8,000 shy of of January record. But the number of newly reported positive tests yesterday as 543,415, more than double the number of new cases in January. That’s because omicron’s acceleration about three or four times greater than that of the orginal strain.
Further, while omicron represents over 90 percent of new cases in New England and New York, it appears to be less prevalent in the Midwest, Southeast, and other parts of the country. This means the big surge is yet to come.
I assume omicron is still getting its start in most of the country simply because the acceleration is more consistent with the delta strain in places like Missouri. And because the CDC just revised downward its estimate of omicron’s dominance to 59 percent from 73 percent.
Instead of being responsible for 73% of sequenced infections for the week ending Dec. 20, Omicron has been revised downward to just 22.5% that same week - making its unbelievable spread from 3% the week before that... more believable.
Delta and Alpha Are Still Driving Hospitalizations and Deaths
I mention the localization of omicron for an important reason. While omicron is mild, delta and alpha are not. And delta and alpha continue to spread in places where omicron is yet to take off.
From a public health perspective, the sooner omicron arrives, the better off people are. Omicron will provide immunity with much lower risk of severe outcomes, but omicron can’t displace delta and alpha until arrives on location.
That’s why mitigation efforts that seek to contain omicron might be very misguided. Omicron poses a bigger threat to its delta and alpha ancestors than it does to human beings. It seems that public health officials, and the general public, should be working to eradicate the more virulent strains rather than protecting them by freezing omicron out.
Expect More Lockdowns
Now for the bad news. The media and public health officials love dramatic headlines and big numbers without context. I’ve given you the context on omicron, but they will not.
In the coming days when new case numbers shatter old records, you will hear apocalyptic headlines. These headlines will lead the demagogues to impose 2020-style lockdowns to stop the spread of omicron. These lockdowns will ignore the data out of South Africa and Denmark showing omicron causes very few severe cases.
By locking us down again, public health officials will allow the deadliest strains to proliferate (because those strains are already in wide circulation) while confining omicron to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
The Humane Thing to Do Is to Defy the Lockdowns
If lockdowns come, defy them.
The longer delta and alpha dominate, the more people get seriously sick and die. The sooner omicron sweeps an area, the sooner the pandemic ends.
Public health officials and the media have vested interests in prolonging the suffering. They make money, increase their control, and receive positive feedback from the media by exacerbating hysteria and suffering.
By treating omicron like the seasonal flu, we might feel under the weather for a couple of days, but our short suffering could save many lives in the long run.
One new data point. While positive tests are up 105%, hospitalizations are up only 6% and deaths are DOWN -5% in the last 14 days.
The pandemic is over, folks.