Hugh2 wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:09 pm
Screen Shot 2021-11-26 at 5.35.41 PM.pngOkay, I don't want to rework the arguments we had here more than a year ago, but some comments above are not helpful.
First, calling those who questioned Trump's actions "retards" is hardly helpful. If anything what we have seen is that travel bans, unless you are a truly insular nation like New Zealand, or able to control your population like Hong Kong and China, you cannot avoid these new highly transmissable variants (and even they have struggled with it). They will spread worldwide no matter how hard you try to block them, and indeed these new travel restrictions are like closing the door after the horse has bolted, and I disagree with them just as I did the earlier restrictions. I note that even the governments imposing these restrictions acknowledge that they at best will slow the spread, not stop it, just like last year.
Second, nobody claimed the vaccines are perfect, it was always clear that they would wane in effectiveness with time, as do most vaccines hence the need to get boosters every few years for many vaccines, and that variants would almost certainly evolve that at least partially evade them. Making statements like that just feed the anti-vax sentiments that have helped keep this pandemic going and cost countless people their lives, unnecessarily. The US still has around 1000 deaths every day from covid and almost all could have been avoided if these folk were vaccinated. And yes, if necessary we might need to develop variant-specific vaccinations if a truly evasive variant evolves, as seems quite likely, and I and billions others will be glad to get it, just as I have had three doses of the original vaccine so far.
Third, nobody is talking about lockdowns for 6-12 months, we have mostly moved on from that approach which was essential to blunt the early waves before vaccines were available. The vaccines will almost certainly still confer considerable protection against this variant, so we remain in the situation that the tables have been turned and now it is the unvaccinated who have to protect themselves as societies reopen and remain open.
I remain optimistic that this virus will slowly mutate into a form that we can live with as an endemic virus like several coronaviruses that cause common colds, and initial reports from South Africa indicate that while highly contagious it so far is causing only mild cases. Early days yet and let's see what happens in two weeks time, some percentage of patients might yet end up in hospital with Omicron. The spread of Omicron is impressive however, and almost certainly unstoppable, just look at this graph of proportions of sequenced samples, it has almost eliminated Delta in South Africa in ten days, that's amazing.
Finally, the report that 61 passengers amoungst the roughly 600 on two flights from SA who were held in quarantine in the Netherlands tested positive is perplexing. How did they get on the flights if they were infected, is not everyone required to test before flying? Can they really all have been infected in the few days before traveling? If so we are dealing with an amazingly contagious variant. And how were they tested? If by the standard PCR tests then the dropout of the S-gene amplicon that characterizes this variant (like the earlier Beta variant in SA), should already tell if they have Omicron without needing to do whole genome sequencing. Yikes, just saw a video on CNN of these passengers, crowded on these planes for many hours. By now they may all be infected.
Oh well, this has already trashed our family holiday to SA, scheduled to fly on Friday for five weeks, at considerable cost to me. I am still determined to go alone this week, before any chance Delta airlines will renege on their pledge to keep flying to Joburg. I'm confident these travel restrictions will be lifted sooner than the earlier ones were, and I am able to stay almost indefinitely as I am South African and have a flat there.