Omicron: other than "Moronic", "Oh Mi God!" or "Micronic", what does it mean for us, stuck here in New Zealand, furiously vaccinating ourselves with last season's variant?
You know what? On the face of it, it looks like we are in for years of this mayhem: endless variants and a never-ending game of catch-up with vaccines that harm too many people and barely work anyway! New Zealand will become a totalitarian banana republic at this rate. However, a fabulous solution is staring us right in the face. I'll outline it for you.
First of all, a most critical feature to appreciate about this new vexatious viral variant is it is milder and more transmissible than other versions of its lab-made mother. So here is what Science Magazine has to say:
"Early signs that Omicron causes less severe symptoms than previous variants offer some reassurance. Doctors in South Africa are reportedly seeing a larger proportion of mild COVID-19 cases in the hospital than at the start of earlier waves. The number of hospital patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 has been rising rapidly, but that includes "incidental" cases—patients seeking care for other reasons who test positive for the virus as well. Data through 6 December indicate the number who needed oxygen support was lower than in previous waves, suggesting fewer patients are suffering the serious lung damage from COVID-19 that has put so many in the hospital during the pandemic."
And take a few minutes to read this:
Rather than run around in panicked circles, Omicron presents us with an opportunity: let's allow this virus to work its way through the healthy population as quickly as possible while protecting the elderly, the immune-compromised and any other high-risk people!
I did use the word "rip" because I quite like it, whereas "waft" might be a more appropriate term.
The idea is to quickly gain natural herd immunity against this variant and consequent resistance to all future variants. The natural course of this strategy is for the virus to continue to mutate into milder rather than more severe versions of itself.
What do you think?
If you like the idea, we'll need to urgently do seven things in preparation:
Begin a campaign to improve people's "viral resistance" to encourage healthy nutrition, exercise, sunlight, and fresh air. This may include strategic taxes, subsidies, a "Have a Go" campaign and a free daily "Kiwi" multivitamin pill.
Allow the dispensing by GP doctors of any prophylactic medicines that they consider most appropriate for their most at-risk patients.
Allow the dispensing of any medicines by GP doctors that they consider the best for any at-home patients who may be doing poorly with the infection (refer to the next item).
Prepare, including equipping GP clinics for "at-home" treatment of COVID cases managed by mobile GP doctors and nursing services.
Have strategies to protect the most immune-compromised while the virus works its way through the population.
Limited vaccination of people if and where it is considered the benefits outweigh the risks while always recognising the superiority of natural immunity and its importance for quickly attaining herd immunity.
Commence an emergency building of medical facilities for the regions, specially designed and equipped to cope with a possible surge of COVID patients who require more than at-home care. This build may include temporary field hospitals. However, I do not think we need to go overboard with this measure if we invest in measures 1-6.
Get a hurry-along with furbishing our regional and central hospitals (we need to do this anyway because of chronic under-investment).
If we do this, we can open our borders within months of doing so and return to normal in next to no time. Countless businesses will be saved, and we can ditch the totalitarian measures such as identity papers - sorry, vaccine passports!
If you like this strategy, please pass this article around: make it go viral - let it rip!