Coronavirus Outbreak: Part 3

I’m trying to schedule my booster at CVS and I think their system is wonky. Things are mostly booked up. Here are the two appointments I’ve found so far:

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I’m seriously doubtful that these are real.

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DS17 got an appointment for his second jab yesterday after they were approved a couple of weeks ago. DH and I got invites this morning - the appointments on the NHS site are far away and a long time away - 21st Dec was the earliest I saw. We’re going to hang on and see if our doctors surgery books us in at the big centre 5 minutes away - we didn’t have to book our own original appointments, they were just sent to us by our doctor. And that’s how DS got booked in yesterday.

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Well this isn’t good…

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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I thought this was hilarious and very on-brand for what our house looked like testing our 4 kids before the 3 grandparents arrived:

But there’s not enough info to confidently call it “bad” yet either, I think? :thinking:

This is spot-on as a summary:
“We have a new variant. I’ve not seen this much anxiety ridden chatter among scientists about a COVID19 variant before. Even among the calm, cool, and collected scientists.”

I think these were probably the most practical bits from her update:
Individual-level protection. None of this variant stuff changes what you need to do on an individual-level right now. Unless, of course, if you weren’t doing anything at all. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Ventilate spaces. Use masks. Test if you have symptoms. Isolate if positive. And encourage others to do the same.
Immunocompromised : It looks like this variant has major implications of virus evolution in immunocompromised hosts. This underscores the need to ensure that immunocompromised people are protected by their communities. Not just for their sake, but for all of ours.

I think Andy Slavitt’s take was also a good read:

Basically, be aware.

It looks more and more like this Covid situation isn’t going to end until it ends for everybody. And everybody includes everybody. 1) Worldwide 2) The vaccine hesitant 3) The vaccinated but still vulnerable, such as the immunocompromised. At least 90% vaxxed and boosted is a pretty tall hurdle to clear but as an alternative to perpetual rotating pockets of global chaos…and if it’s not this variant, ongoing widespread global transmission will get us a bad roll eventually…

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Agree with your “not bad yet” take. Just concerning.

I’m curious if it does have vaccine-busting effects of there is a difference between fully vaxxed and fully vaxxed + boosters.

Also saw that Pfizer said that, if necessary, they could have a booster specific to this Varient to market in 100 days.

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It’s been designated Omicron, a “variant of concern” by WHO…

ETA:
This graphic illustrates the speed with which this variant is infiltrating South Africa. However, 2 caveats to that: SA cases are increasing rapidly but it’s not huge (yet) and this variant is easier to detect using some standard PCRs, so part of it may be that it’s easier to spot. Stay tuned. :persevere:


(Those proposing it’s an ongoing cyclical pattern may be on to something?)

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I feel the need (I’m in a pissy mood) to helpfully point out that this is pronounced oh-my-kron.

Greek has two letters for “o”. One is a short o, and one a long one. Thus: o-micron (ο) and o-mega (ω).

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I never knew that about the etymology of omega (didn’t know omega needed etymology). :dizzy:

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If it is a short “o”, then wouldn’t it be pronounced ah-my-kron?

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No you just say the “oh” really fast. :wink:

(I actually have no idea and my wife was wondering the same thing as you, so I’m curious the answer.)

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I just looked it up in Wiktionary. They have a nice audio clip of how to pronounce it. Which happens to be the way I had been saying it. To me, it sounds like 'oh-meh-kron. I think someone’s been toying with us - and that’s ok!

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Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe…

But, wait, there’s more…

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I’m confused about so many things here, not least because I definitely pronounce the first o in both omega and omicron exactly the same. I must be getting one wrong.

Also, wondering why this new variant is called omicron? That’s way down the Greek alphabet from delta. Have there actually been that many variants and we only hear about the problematic ones??

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Ahh. So it’s another American vs the rest of the world pronunciation difference. Glad we can all simply read it here in our own accents without upsetting @mousematt .

Y’all. If I was feeling discouraged after having Covid run through our house, I’m feeling really weary right now. I was hoping for longer breaths between waves. I have been out of town (annual trips to Big Bend a new thing for my family? Dang it’s gorgeous. And the trekking poles I bought for our Disney trip allow me to hike for miles and miles) so I haven’t kept much in the way of tabs on Houston, aside from a vague feeling that we reached last May’s lows (not June’s lowest low) for covid and now cases have leveled/are increasing.

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There are thousands of varients, but only particular ones that have the potential for widespread infection are tracked.

There have been a number of varients of interest and concern since Delta. If you Google Mu, for example, you may find stories about how that one was a concern but then fizzled out. They have skipped some letters though - Mu was the last Varient being tracked, and so they skipped Nu and Xi to get to Omicron, for some reason.

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Yes. It’s simply another example of Americans being wrong caused, as usual, by ignorance of the existence of other countries. If you people were classically educated you’d know about little-o and big-o and adapt your pronunciation accordingly.

Did Epcot teach you people nothing?

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Feel free to apologise when you’re ready to do so. Some kind of gesture — a Disney gift card, for example — would be appropriate and may help accelerate the healing.

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I think they thought “nu variant” was just too easily confused with “new variant”. And, best to just stay away from using Xi given the leader of China is Xi Jinping. But we’re going to run out of Greek letters at this rate. Move on to a new alphabet? Constellations? Hurricane names? The speculation is ongoing.

We’re only been once and are way overdue. Glad y’all got a chance to get away!

I’ve sort of accepted our new dystopian near-future at this point. My reaction is along the lines of “There’s a new variant that may be 2-3 times as transmissible as Delta? Well, of course there is. Time to make more :popcorn:. And buy more napkins.”

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Mask mandates starting to go back in for England…

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This article is a good read. Summarized a lot of what I’m seeing without getting too much into the technical, and is well-balanced in the level of concern.

Also, FWIW, the major US/Europe vax manufacturers are already working on Omicron specific boosters….

Just as a refresher, some of them have already created Delta-specific boosters, but the efficacy gains weren’t large enough to justify disrupting the manufacturing process. But at least they’ve been through the process so hopefully it will go smoothly if it becomes critical for Omicron.

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