As you’ve likely heard by now, there’s a new variant of COVID-10 on the loose. According to the World Health Organization or WHO, it’s known as omicron and has been detected in some 38 countries so far, after being discovered in South Africa about a month ago.
Unsurprisingly, the discovery and unknown potential to further cause disaster has led to more than a few of our national and state leaders immediately running for the panic button.
Democratic President Joe Biden has already made statements insisting that this is even more of a reason everyone “must” be vaccinated post haste. New York State’s recently chosen interim governor, Kathy Hochul, has even declared a state of emergency over the newfound variant, reinstituting lockdowns, school closures, and, of course, mask and social distancing mandates.
And while the unknowns of this variant should have us preparing for the worst to some degree, an announcement from the WHO has made it clear that hoping for the best shouldn’t be out of the question.
On Friday, the organization noted that while the virus was spreading quickly, proving that it is highly transmissible – possibly even higher than the first and second known variants – a month after the first cases were discovered, there have still been no deaths reported as a result of omicron.
According to The Guardian, the WHO is working hard to “get the answers that everybody out there needs.” But as of right now, the news is that it may not be nearly as dangerous or as deadly as either of the first variants or even the flu – at least at this point.
WHO Emergencies Director Michael Ryan noted that despite this being rather good news so far, the variant could still lead to the infection of many people. According to estimates, over half of Europe’s COVID cases over the coming winter months could end up being labeled as omicron.
The assumption, in part, comes from data obtained during a preliminary study in South Africa last month that suggests omicron could be three more times likely to cause reinfections than the other strains.
Of course, as is stated, these are all still “assumptions” or estimates at this point.
As this particular strain has only been known to be around for about a month or so, there is little data to go off of. And what is available may not be as well-rounded as data seen in the coming months.
For example, the study suggesting the variant could infect the same individual multiple times comes from a population of only university students, which tend to be younger, more active, physically fit, and healthy individuals. Recovery from the disease was quick, and most cases were labeled as “mild” or asymptomatic.
The WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, explained to CNBC that while this is indeed good news, it could lead to false hope as more and more is discovered about the strain in the coming months.
She said, “There was initial reports that it tended to be more mild, but it’s really too soon. Everybody who is infected with SARS-CoV2 regardless of what variant will always start out with a mild disease. And so it maybe it will stop there with mild, some people are asymptomatic, of course, but it may stop with mild disease or it may take some time.”
And it is this unknown that International Monetary Fund chief, Kristalina Georgieva, says could cause more economic issues. She says people are already concerned that the economic recovery from the first variant isn’t going so well. And news of another variant, no matter how transmissible, mild, or deadly, isn’t likely to inspire much more confidence.
Then again, with all the fear-mongering of the progressive left, it’s far easier to worry.
Imagine what it would be like if the liberal-backed media and Democratic White House weren’t making ongoing statements stressing vaccination and the need for extra precautions. What if those like Hochul weren’t jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst is yet to come?
Wouldn’t Americans be more likely to jump back into the workforce, both adding to economic gains and ending the supply chain crisis? As a result, wouldn’t our “recovery,” both physically and financially, be achieved more quickly?
Of course, that’s not what the progressive left really wants, is it? And so, despite over a month without a single omicron-related death, the fear-mongering continues…