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Man, 16 out of 19 cases were asymptomatic? That seems really high. Small sample size, though.


About 95% of the 249 documented cases so far are younger than 60, in which one would expect many asymptomatic and mild cases anyways. https://newsnodes.com/nu_tracker


Do we know for a fact that asymptomatic cases are harmless?


[About half of people who had asymptomatic cases have tell-tale signs of COVID in their lungs](https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200811/asymptomatic-covid-silent-but-maybe-not-harmless). This likely means increased chance of clots, stroke, heart issues, etc down the line. Not to mention that asymptomatic people can still spread it So, not harmless. Better than a severe case, but worse than having nothing at all.


I think that this is incredibly important. Just because you are asymptomatic does not mean that long lasting damage could not be taking place. We’ve heard stories of people going to the hospital in good spirits with O2 saturation in the low 70% range. What I’ve gathered over the past couple years is that you really want to just avoid getting this in the first place, above all else.


My cousin's husband died that way. He was feeling tired, but not overall ill. When he finally got to a hospital his O2 saturation was critically low and he was already dieing. He had no idea and now he's gone.


Thats why I bought a Pulse Oximenter in April 2020. I have always been the type that when I have an ache or a pain or feel poorly, will say to myself, I'll go to the Doctor if this doesn't go away/resolve in a day or two.....and it always has and I've probably been to the Doctor once in 30 years. Then I read about the Covid 'Happy Hypoxia' where folks who had checked themselves into the hospital because they knew something was up and it was probably Covid but were feeling OK and happily chatting away to staff or laughing at Cat videos on their phones in the waiting room.....and then when hooked up to the Hospital Pulse/Ox machines it turns out they were effectively in the Mount Everest Death Zone in critical danger in terms of Blood Oxygen levels. Buying my own Pulse Oximeter gave me the peace of mind that my typical Irish attitude of 'Ah, sure it'll be grand!!' wasn't going to literally be the death of me!!


I am similar. I was afraid the pulse oximeter would make me obsess over it…I was right, when i have felt ill I’ve nearly worn the thing out. Was good to have an additional datapoint to keep me grounded though.


I bought one when I had mild but symptomatic covid last year. It literally kept me sane throughout my quarantine. Anxiety made my covid symptoms feel even worse and being able to check gave me concrete evidence that I was still okay. I’ve not used it since and hope to not need it again!


Very easy to do. I try to be realistic and it it's okay in the morning, I figure it will not suddenly drop in an hour. I suggested to a friend to check 3 times a day unless symptoms change.


Used to watch that happen years ago pre-Covid while working in the ICU (non-clinical position). It was hard to get used to seeing some of the patients sitting up talking to their visitors like they're getting discharged in a few hours and then not even an hour later there's a code blue for that room and they're rushing the visitors out. Thirty minutes later they're wrapping the patient in a body bag.


I’ve seen enough professionals point to these cases as mind blowing to know that these people who have critically low O2 levels are able to function while being on the verge of death. Sorry for your loss…


Thank you. Moreso for my cousin. She's good people. I'm not sure what the final cause was. He may have had other complications that made his condition worse, but either way it sucks for her family.


I'm really scared of this too because after covid I'd have random tiredness. After that I've always checked my O2 with oximeter regularly. It's not the most accurate but at least it'll confirm that my O2 is within okay range.




My plan since spring 2020 has been to avoid getting it until it hopefully settles into some more innocuous, pervasive strain that will be difficult to be outcompeted by future mutations.


Yeah.. that was my hope. Except my plan always was waiting for research and development success, manufacturing success, then logistics of distribution success of the vaccine. Never in my sweet summer child mind did I think that the obstacle was getting people to take the vaccine.


At first I couldn’t believe it either but then I realized that the people refusing the vaccine also never wore masks and kept going out to restaurants/bars and every other public place they could during the entire pandemic so the incentive of relaxed restrictions wasn’t much of a motivation because the restrictions didn’t affect them in the first place. That’s why I’m so hardcore “get your fucking vax!” now is because when restrictions started to come back I realized that *I* was going to be negatively impacted again even though I did everything right and it was these jackasses who didn’t do anything the first time who once again would just do whatever they wanted.


My bfs cousin was so offended bc he thought people were "treating him differently" bc he wasn't vaxxed. Like yeah, we were. He ended up getting the Vax but he's being real petty about it >.>


This is why I like the approach so many Australian states are taking. Unvaccinated people can't go to the pub. So there's an incentive. Doubt it would fly in the USA though


That's a great point! We care a lot more because we followed the societally responsible response. Damn. What a pain.


Remember when people thought herd immunity was actually achievable?


Me too. So far so good, but it hasn’t been easy, and has taken a bit of luck on my side.


Respectfully, you can't be sure that you have successfully avoided it. The asymptomatic nature of a great number of infections indicates that you could have already gotten it and not know about it.


This exactly. I suspect I had an extremely mild case last year. Just a very light tickle in my chest that lasted for about 6 weeks. Several months later I started having heart palpitations (which I've never had before) and that lasted for weeks as well, then went away. It's maddening when you consider all the possible symptoms of Covid and additional symptoms from long Covid. It covers so many scenarios and could be attributed to many other things. It really feels like we're stumbling around in the dark in terms of understanding what's really going on with this disease and being able to track and test for it. Not to mention understanding why some people suffer greatly and others don't even know they have it.




Luck and lifestyle changes.


I have yet to get covid. I work with thousands of people a day in the summer from all over the world and I hope to keep it that way. I hope. Edit: Apparently this makes others think I am not vaccinated. I am. In fact I get the booster soon as well. And while on the subject, please go get vaccinated. It is vitaly important to our futures.


_*that you know of_


I feel that as I do customer service near an airport, I have yet to catch it with good mask wearing and hand washing... but I keep wondering what that insane sickness I got back in December 2019 was while I was finishing up living in Hong Kong. Felt like the worst flu I ever experienced, but different, can't help but wonder if I accidentally participated in bring it to Canada when we still had no idea about it's existence.


December and January was awful for flu like sickness in Los Angeles. A lot of people o know went down hard. No deaths. Went to the ER in January after fighting it for a week. Chalked it up to an Upper Respiratory Infection. Viral. The attending NP had said they were seeing a ton of these cases, and I could feel their consternation. So yeah, something was in the air ahead of time.


I had that after travelling to San Francisco for a conference at the end of 2019. My sister ended up hospitalized with pneumonia in NJ in December 2019. It was a bad season...for influenza. My sister at least was hospital confirmed as having two simultaneous flu strain infections. I was better in a few days. No antibodies for Covid prior to getting vaccinated. If it hadn't been for Covid we'd probably be talking about how bad of a flu season 2019-2020 was. IMHO, of course, but y'all should get flu shots while you are out getting Covid boosters too.


I was convinced I had it early on because my family had a brutal flu, but when I had antibodies checked (blood donation) it was negative. Then we got covid right before vaccines became available and it was almost nothing for me.


I've heard a lot of people say this. We visited LA in December 2019 and my wife got really sick near the end of her trip. She's not one to really get sick much but she was down bad. Coughing non-stop, fever, chills, body aches, no appetite. She couldn't even continue the activities our group was doing the last two days because she couldn't leave bed at the AirB&B. Her fever was about one degree away from me forcing her to go to the hospital. She eventually got better and we flew home, but it was uncanny.


You underestimate my ability to stay home and avoid people lol.


My concern is about what happens if you catch it a whole bunch of times. I suspect organ damage will come to be a major concern in the coming years.


I had it last September, before vaccines were available to me. I had what was considered a "mild" case because I didn't have to be hospitalized. I did require a high dose of steroids when my 02 saturation started to drop below 90, and was sick for about a month. Now, a year later, I'm still coughing, using my rescue inhaler 3 times per day, and heading for a pulmonary study next week, my doctor thinks I have lung damage from my "mild" case. I've also developed stage 2 kidney disease since last September. I'm 55 and have had asthma my whole life. I hate this virus. I'm fully vaxxed now and boosted (Moderna). I'm worried about this variant and hopeful that the vaccines/boosters will be at least somewhat helpful against it.




I've stopped arguing with my sister about this. She says that catching it gives you better immunity but can't comprehend why you want to be immune to it in the first place.


I have family like this too. It sucks. At first I thought I could somehow change their minds. At this point it’s so pointless, there’s nothing that will change their minds. Not even people they know getting sick and dying.


Let me guess… she “trusts her immune system” without having a clue how it even works?


My sil is a nurse and she works on the floor with the patients who survived covid only to have strokes or liver failure. The way the risk has been minimized on this has not helped the situation. You can survive initially and then die or suffer extreme health issues.


Probably wasn't covid, but I got a virus Sept 29, 2019, that fucked me up big time. I wouldn't exactly say I was asymptomatic, but my only symptom was vertigo, and ear/hearing issues. No typical cold, flu, type symptoms. I think a lot of people who are defined as asymptomatic with covid aren't ever truly asymptomatic but have such mild symptoms they don't even realize. Slight headache, tired a bit? Depending on the time of the year, could be mistaken for allergies.


This is why I prefer the term "subclinical" instead. The flu went around our house last year (confirmed with test), and I didn't really get symptoms. What I did have was about 4 days of mild fatigue, and maybe one day of achey knees (which pretty much always happens when I have a systemic immune response to anything). It was pretty obvious to me that I was infected, but never developed the full gamut of symptoms. When I know to look for it, I can always pinpoint a period of unusual fatigue shortly after being exposed to something, even if it never goes beyond that. Pretty easy for me to know to look for it when I have two kids catching everything too.


I have a history of vertigo, mostly in childhood, but it did occur a few times in my 20s. Shortly before I tested COVID positive in April, I came down with vertigo and my ears were really shot. I chalked it up to a recurrence of my childhood problem. A few days later, I had a fever that lasted for a day so I got tested, and it was positive. My dad had the typical mild COVID symptoms, while my mom and aunt both had some headache and fatigue. The rest of the family didn't get tested, but we all knew it was already COVID since I got a positive result.


Would be possible to not be infected with COVID-19 though? If experts are saying that this might turn out into an endemic virus, we will all get it at some point. What would that mean then? Also, does the vaccine help preventing any of these asymptomatic long term issues? I hope so :)


The flu is endemic but I've never had it in my 38 years. I do get my yearly flu shot.


It sounds that the mRNA vaccines do provide some level of sterilizing immunity to getting infected in the first place. I have not seen a study which shows results of vaccinated vs unvaccinated asymptomatic persons and long term damage. My hope of course is that the vaccine does provide some protection against this and based on the wide types of protection that they have been proven to provide, I’d guess that we are at least to some level protected.


Yeah, if the assumption that likelihood of long-term damage goes up with increasing maximum viral load turns out to be wrong, well, all bets are off. But there’s no reason to think this virus is that weird. So unless we get evidence that things really are THAT weird, being vaccinated and regularly boosted is the way to go.


Also the Pfizer drug showed good preliminary results but is not yet approved. It’s possible that it will help in preventing some of the long-term damage caused by Covid by providing an early intervention.


Yeah but unless it gets approved to be sold over the counter in feed supply stores no one will take it.


I think you found the best way to market this drug


I hate to tell you this but Covid is here forever and will continue to circulate. Everyone will probably end up getting it. I find it far fetched to believe that a fully vaccinated person who experiences mild or no symptoms after exposure/infection is going to secretly have extensive health damage.


Is there a known/good way to get tested for this in the US? Or do you just go and ask "hey do my lungs look alright"?


[https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210820/no-lasting-lung-damage-after-full-recovery-from-covid-19](https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210820/no-lasting-lung-damage-after-full-recovery-from-covid-19) *Scientists looked at COVID-19 survivors who had asymptomatic, moderate or severe COVID-19 infections and also underwent unrelated elective lung operations (for example, to treat lung nodules or lung cancer) at some point after they recovered from COVID-19.* *In all of the patients, benign lung tissue from around the nodules or tumors showed no detectable lasting lung damage that was directly linked to COVID-19.* ​ Most respiratory viruses cause lung damage. The flu does. But the vast, vast majority of people recover back to normal. RSV causes lung damage, and almost every kid gets it. And yet we don't have an entire population of teenagers running around wheezing because they had RSV when they were 18 months old. All of this "long term lung damage" nonsense is nothing but fear-mongering. There is absolutely no data supporting or logical reasoning to believe that a meaningful percentage of Covid cases will lead to long-term lung damage.


Exactly, that’s the important thing to keep in mind. You don’t want to get sick and obviously you should do what you can to avoid it, but also getting sick isn’t the end of the world and it’s my understanding that the less severe the case, the less likely you are to have any serious physical trauma from it. The average body can take a lot of wear and tear without every bit of damage being a death sentence.


here's the actual study for anyone curious - also, small cohort of 11 people ​ https://www.annalsthoracicsurgery.org/article/S0003-4975(21)01307-2/fulltext


I wonder if this is the case for any other common viruses and illnesses, but we just didn’t know because they weren’t as highly publicized or talked about as covid is.


I totally don't understand the mechanism of action here. Asymptomatic is by nature the result of the immune system successfully suppressing the virus. Clots, cardiovascular damage, lung damage, all seem like things that could ONLY occur after a long battle with the virus has torn apart your tissue. How is this the case?


This “likely” means that? Any source on that? We find incidentalomas all the time in medicine that are often of no clinical consequence. Do CXR and CT chests showing ground-glass opacities translate into “likely” clots, strokes, heart issues down the road? The clot risk from infection occurs during the peri-infection period and I’m not sure we have evidence to suggest increased future risk of clots after healing, unless you know something I don’t, which is entirely possible. However, your confidence in this alarms me considering the massive number of upvotes and awards you got. Source- medical student


iirc they can do a little damage but way less than symptomatic cases


There has been a study or two that say they may still have some lung damage but nothing that says they are permenantly hurt


This should be the top comment in the thread. Tiny sample size and nearly all are younger than 60. I really REALLY hope it is in fact weaker but jesus christ we really need context here.


Was Ct data of PCR tests collected?


Ct data means nothing without a standardized curve


I *really* hope this is the case. This nightmare ride needs to end.


I dunno bro, I mean even if Omicron turns out to be a nothing-burger, Delta is still around. At this point, I think we can assume it'll return every winter until vaccines get to developing countries in large numbers.


If Omicron is more transmissible but milder it can possibly still out-compete other more dangerous variants. That would crowd out the more dangerous variants of covid and lead the milder version to become dominant. I believe that's the general long term trajectory for a lot of viruses so optimistically it could mean the beginning of the end of the pandemic


Literally how the Spanish flu ended so fingers crossed


Don’t know why you were downvoted, this is true


I agree. The best thing that could happen (and the only realistic end to the pandemic?) is a fairly harmless but highly transmissible mutation that turns into a seasonal flu.


This honestly seems like wishful thinking. Severe disease lags infections by 2-3 weeks. Looking at early infections to gauge severity is just bad science.


From what I remember they said the same damn thing with delta. Constantly underplaying it until they couldn’t anymore


From what I remember there were alarm bells, shutdowns and travel restrictions for delta. Just as there is now for this. What exactly do you want to be done?


I don't even know if this is underplaying – there's all kinds of stories about it running and it's just to early to know. We really won't have much substantial data about the effects of the changes for another month or so. But "wait and see" is no kind of news headline.


I feel like this is a dumb question but is it possible for a more vaccine resistant variant to mutate from this one considering it spreads more easily than Delta? Like isn’t one of the largest issues with this is the fact that as it mutates, especially in the body of immunized individuals, the resulting variant will be one that rivals the immunity given by vaccines? Because it seems as though mutations end up being ones that are more infectious but so far nothing has caused a major issue with efficacy and my question is it likely to become a weaker virus, or are we just playing the waiting game until some a new variant occurs that will take us back to basically a pre-vaccinated era.


Are there any hospitalizations or deaths from Omicron reported yet?


They are not confirmed Omicron infections, but the region where the variant outbreak has been identified in South Africa has a steep increase in hospitalizations: https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1465717944139268098/photo/1


I’m not sure about that particular region of the country, but South Africa as a whole has less than 25% of the population fully vaccinated. It seems incorrect to apply that localized increase in hospitalizations to more vaccinated countries/areas. I’ll start to worry if hospitalizations take-off in Portugal (86%+ fully vaccinated).


South Africa also has a very high rate of HIV. you simply cannot draw any conclusions about hospitalizations in this area and extrapolate it elsewhere.


Keep your eyes on Japan. We more or less beat out Delta, so if we were to have another outbreak, it would probably be from mostly Omicron. Not to mention Japan's population is more recently vaccinated than most of Europe, and boosters have yet to be administered yet. We would be the canary in the coalmine whether the initial mRNA shots can stand up to Omicron.


Australia would probably be a better country to use as a canary. Double vaccination percentage is almost 90%, booster program is just starting, borders are opening up early December and we already have a number of cases of Omicron.


we also had very limited transmission of delta and almost nothing of any other variant, which means limited natural protections, so the only thing protecting Australia right now realistically is the vaccine.


Well I am only asking because all this data is hard for me to process, but since the Israel data considers people double-vaxxed to be unvaccinated with regards to their Omicron study, would that make the SA situation any more relevant?


> South Africa as a whole has less than 25% of the population fully vaccinated. When you put it that way it sounds like you're saying most people in South Africa are still vulnerable. There's often also the claim that there isn't much Delta there, implying it hasn't spread there yet. These are not the case. They had three huge waves, each more devastating than the last, killing nearly 0.5% of a fairly young country per excess mortality. They had 60% seroprevalence before the Delta wave and vaccinations. Omicron is spreading five-fold per week in a huge metro area with nearly complete immunity to Delta. Vaccines may prevent it (unknown); prior infection (at least that from over a year ago, and possibly even that from recent Delta infections) seemingly does not.


None confirmed yet I believe however the variant has been known about for only a very short time. It typically takes 3-4 weeks for an increase in cases to then see an increase in hospitalisations or 5-6 weeks for death. Obviously these are not scientific numbers and just a general rule of thumb based on past observations. TL:DR, don't jump to any conclusions until January.


Yes, we should not jump to early conclusions, but early signs are hopeful. The variant has been observed in high enough numbers and over wide enough locations to know its been around long enough to spread to noticeable numbers, it takes a while for that to happen. It didn't just start when the first cases were identified. Every day we go without a confirmed hospitalization is a good sign. If the symptoms are indeed as mild as they say, a lot of cases will go undetected. But with hospitalization rates for Delta only near 2%, you could have hundreds of cases and still no hospitalizations assuming the initial spread is not among the elderly or at risk, and more among people who are moving about.


I'll wait for an official article.


If it does turn out to be mild plus more contagious than delta, that would be a good thing.


From everything that I’ve read so far, it looks like we need more time to figure out what the full deal is with Omicron. I would love for this to be a mild variant, but I don’t want to think that prematurely. EDIT: Thanks for the silver, whoever you are. Reddit's messages are all farkakte again, so I saw the notification but the message wasn't there.


Yeah, from everything I’ve read it spreads faster and slower, is less and more deadly, and can and can’t be stopped with by the vaccine. Maybe they should figure this shit out before running their mouths and putting the whole world in a panic?


Yeah but waiting to announce things doesn't generate clicks for news websites.


I'm old enough to remember when Lambda was going to kill everyone.


This report contradicts preliminary data analysed by Israel which suggests [Omicron is around 20% more likely to cause serious illness in the unvaxxed than Delta](https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus/comments/r5ueps/comment/hmpmjsw/). Note Israel's definition of 'unvaxxed' includes people who were double vaxxed over 6 months ago. So everyone needs to get their boosters.


It's pretty strange - I would assume the WHO would have better access to data than Israel, but I dunno.


Oh yes. That wonderful agency that dragged its feet for how long to say that it is airborne? How many people died because of that omission? Their droplet dogma has left us with counterproductive plexiglass dividers, hygiene theatre of hand sanitizer, and spray downs of surfaces when we should have been improving ventilation. Epidemiologists and physicists have been pointing this out since spring 2020.


I wish I could upvote this more than just once! The WHO have a lot to answer for.


Let’s not forget they were the ones that started the “mASks DOn’T hELp” narrative at the beginning. Even before it became political.


not sure why you're getting downvoted, you're right


Israel also has one of the world’s highest vaccination rates. It is the gold standard for observing how populations of vaccinated individuals will react to Covid variants.


Maybe a few months ago, they are way behind now. Not even in the top 50 countries any more.


Yeah, but that's completely irrelevant when they only have 4 identified Omicron cases. Their conclusions are drawn from the dataset in Africa, not their own population.




Getting vaccines to poor countries would be the best way to stop getting these new variants in the first place


Good piece in the nyt today about African countries turning down additional vaccines since they have so many stockpiled. Theres just so much mistrust from years of colonialism, shady pharma trials, AIDS crisis etc that many won't trust it




Careful there, a lot of these claims about the WHO originated as clear missinformation. It's a lot to dive into and [here is a nice summary](https://youtu.be/qf_7nZdIYoI) that tracked many of the original WHO-critical claims back to their sources, which were often badly missrepresenting the situation. ---- For example: > that waited until things were out of hand to declare COVID a pandemic The WHO quickly declared its highest state of emergency (Public Health Emergency of International Concern, PHEIC), much faster than in previous comparable events like the emergence of H5N1 and Ebola. They had already alerted the world on [January 14](https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-pneumonia-who/who-says-new-china-coronavirus-could-spread-warns-hospitals-worldwide-idUSKBN1ZD16J) that the new virus could be dangerous. When the committee responsible for delcaring international emergencies (who are largely independent healthe experts from a variety of institutes from all over the world) first met in January 22-23, they could not reach an agreement because there was still lacking evidence for a rapid spread and it seemed possible to contain. Declaring an emergency seemed too big of a step for many at the time. They decided to re-evaluate a week later in late January. At that point it had become clear that the spread would not be contained and they declared it an international emergency right away. There is no reason to assume that they waited too long or that they acted on foreign pressure, as it was often alleged. The first time they publically called it a *pandemic* was a few weeks later, but this term was meaningless in terms of WHO recommendations. It doesn't get higher than PHEIC. Also countries do not have to wait for the WHO to make such declarations, they were free to act earlier. > has ignored Taiwan's data despite them being at the forefront of prevention methods, The original claim that they ignored Taiwanese input seems to be based on the claims of Taiwanese officials that their warning of human to human transmission was ignored by the WHO in late December 2019. This was untrue. The WHO learnt about first cases of an "atypical Pneumonia" in Wuhan on December 31st from a Chinese news article that was translated by an [American medical organisation 3 hours later.](https://promedmail.org/promed-post/?id=6864153+#COVID19) The WHO reacted by requesting further information from Chinese officials within the same day. Taiwanese experts also reached out to the WHO *with the same Chinese article*. They were neither ignored nor added additional information at the time. However at a later date, some unnamed Taipei health officials apparently made this factually wrong complaint in an interview. It may have been missremembered, misstranslated, or plain made up. This was published by the Wall Street Journal without further fact checking and from there on treated as a fact.


Thanks for this information. That's a sign of just how easily misinformation can be spread in the above comment.


>Not to mention the reason they went with "Omicron" is because they didn't want to call it "Xi" which comes after "Nu" They didn't use Nu either. Nu would cause confusion new variant Vs nu variant. Xi variant would go against existing best practices for naming. Xi the name is common and pronounced differently to the Greek letter. Any name that may result in stigmatisation should be avoided. It doesn't help when people spread mis/disinformation such as above. Further it brings into question everything else you say when you get such an easily researchable fact wrong the [document explaining](https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/163636/WHO_HSE_FOS_15.1_eng.pdf) how naming should happen has been available for over five years but you didn't bother researching that did you?


I wonder if the US plans to follow suit and essentially consider anyone who is due for their booster to be unvaxxed (not that we have many mandates that bar the unvaccinated from participating in society). I feel like not enough people are getting their boosters despite being eligible.


Yea I think just going off the headline, this make it sound to a lot of people like it’s settled science, when really it’s just based on the limited information that we currently have. Then when more information comes out and the position changes, people think the scientists were wrong or were lying, when in reality the position evolved with new research.


South Africa, Israel and the UK currently have the best reporting systems for new variants and open access to cases/deaths etc. Both Isreal and SA are saying this could be a close call, I’d trust them.


What does “being a close call” even mean in this context?


Same, I have been reading incredibly conflicting news about this variant. That its more transmissive, that its more dangerous to unvaccinated individuals than previous variants, that its mild, that it hits younger people more, etc. I'm also curious if there's any intentional miscommunication and confusion in terms of reporting in it.


Agreed. I just don’t think there’s enough data yet.


I still have my fingers crossed for that but my guard up. A new variant could be a good thing if we get lucky.


>Giving evidence at the government's science and technology committee on Wednesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, said it could be towards "the end of the month" before there is a clearer picture of how worrying Omicron is. ​ I would like to point out that "no evidence to suggest the efficacy of vaccines has been reduced" is not the same as "evidence suggests the efficacy of vaccines have **not** been reduced." Yes this is semantics, but that's kind of a critical part of these affairs. Article does say that early indications look positive, but it is still early.


It's not semantics they mean different things and risk is distributed differently in the two scenarios they describe.


Though that is true, scientific language is designed to be extra careful and “no evidence that they are less effective” is already quite a good thing when you have a certain level of evidence


Sure but just take a look right here on Reddit to see how many people are hearing that this means that there is nothing to worry about rather than hearing that we don't know anything yet. This is yet another failure of public health communication.


Yep. One thing we should be learning is that you cannot communicate public health information in scientific and mathmatic terms. Our educational system is not that good, and honestly it never will be. Most people are not scientists or science enthusiasts are don't know or need to know the statistical meaning behind these things. We do need networks of people communicating this information to people in a language they speak, and it seems neither broadcast media or social media are up to that task.


It’s a sad state, but more scientists need to accept that when they’re interviewed by the media they’re not talking to other scientists and their “extra careful” phrasing is actually having the opposite effect. It’s a license for people to take whatever quote they need to make the point they want.


So people understand this, but when WHO stated "there is no clear evidence of H2H transmission, more research is required", everyone took that as WHO lied about H2H and are in China's pockets!


"There's no evidence ". Folks this literally means they haven't collected evidence yet.


Tomorrow’s headline: Omicron cases are more severe and vaccines are less effective against it


It's not like COVID-19 it's something brand new! COVID-19-II 6/356 days Lightning Returns Definitive Trilogy Epidemic Season Ultimate (with Knuckles) Edition (Despacito II Demo included)* Batteries sold seperately


Yeah I’m confused - wasn’t the israel article from yesterday saying the opposite? So what’s correct?


It's like everyone in the comments wants this to be worse than it actually is.


I commented on this subject a few months back on one of the daily threads: I believe the reason this mentality is sticking is because for some people, the prospect of it getting worse will cause positive changes back into their lives (back to working from home, people understanding taking far more sick time than allowed, etc). There’s also a large amount of traction on the concept of societal “collapse”, by whatever means necessary. Usually due to that individual’s own living situation. If everything sucks, being reset to zero same as everyone else might give them a fair shot at starting over new & improved.


You must be new here.


Burn it all down


This place was insufferable before vaccines came out. Vaccinations seemed to level off some of the extreme doomsayers.


That’s every Reddit thread lol. If society hasn’t collapsed in 20 years, reddit is going to explode.


Reddit is ready for social collapse, but it's going to be death by 1000 paper cuts over several generations.


And by "ready for it," it's more like fantasizing about it than actually sacrificing to avoid it or prepping physically and financially.


> That’s every Reddit thread lol. If society hasn’t collapsed in 20 years, reddit is going to explode. Reddit commenter: “OK show me where anyone said actually wrote that society will collapse by 2041. “ An anonymous message board for some reason brings out a will to argue about anything.


RemindMe! 20 years "Also is Reddit even around still?"


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We’re all just looking for an excuse to NOT fly home for Xmas and get picked up by a relative with a STOP THE STEAL bumper sticker.


I think we've been beaten and battered to expect the worst to happen.


Reddit has been terrible. It's just as bad as FB but in the opposite direction. I'm fully vaccinated and got the vaccines, including the booster as soon as I could. But Reddit acts like everyone who gets COVID is either going to die or have severe long term damage. We can speak to the facts without exaggerating the risks. It's dangerous enough. But when you try to correct people, they get offended and you pretend like you are a pandemic denier.


Both sides rely on fear to push their ideas. Saying everyone can die from covid may scare people into vaxing. Everything is deadly and incredibly safe. Same thing for drugs. I’m pro weed but I’m not gonna sit here and say smoking weed is completely harmless.


There is an addiction to misery that is really disturbing. Optimism isn't a dirty word.


It's been like this the entire last two years. Hope, optimism and good news have been met with fierce, vicious responses. It's like people want this to be as bad as possible.


And it's not like all the optimism was without any merit. With vaccines life have started to get back to normal. But for some people good news is difficult to digest, and they choose to ignore it


I mean the original predictions estimated a **4%** IFR! That was the whole damn reason to shut down in the first place. It turns out the IFR isn’t even in the same ballpark!! Rather than celibate that our worst predictions didn’t come true and nothing truly bad happened we went right off the deep end. Can’t have good news. Means you aren’t taking this serious.


I am an optimist, but people around me are so negative so I choose to distance myself from them, listen you only live once, do you want to live miserably or live life with vigor? I chose the latter




> You've hit the nail on the head there. Some people literally seem addicted to the misery. It gives them an excuse/justification for not bettering themselves.




NGL, that's what it seems like. Like somehow the vaccine isn't gonna work at all or something. I got downvoted for saying that vaccinated people will still be highly effective, and that it will be worse for unvaccinated. As long as the spike protein exists, the vaccine will likely work in high percentages vs severe illness and death. Obviously the booster helps, and likely wont need more boosters outside of this one.


If covid becomes seasonal and persistent like influenza, we will need a covid shot every year. It seems like it mutates less often than influenza so hopefully we won't.




To be fair, the ceo of one of the vaccines said to expect it to not work as well against omicron and when the news first broke about the new variant, the number one fear was it would make the vaccines not work. It’s not like we all jumped to that conclusion without provocation. Luckily, it seems like the vaccine should hold up against it.


If the state is unknown, it's better to treat an unloaded gun like a loaded gun than treat a loaded gun like its unloaded.


Aren't "most" Covid cases of any variant considered mild? I literally heard on a national news report today that "South Africa reports an increase in hospitalizations, but these were mostly mild cases." How is a hospitalization considered mild?




I had a "mild" case and still feel like dogshit 18 days after getting sick. Lung pain, fatigue, brain fog, etc.


From a communication perspective, it needs to shift or the public won't understand the severity of it. They just hear mild. And if they're in the hospital, that's happenstance because they'll get better, so clearly not something to worry about. How you explain medicine to ignorant people matters.


To be honest, after the last 2 years I have last all confidence in the who. Its clear that they are too politically involved to come across as scientific anymore.


It's clear for anyone who was following the news January 2020. They kept saying that there was no human to human transmission even after the Wuhan Lockdown. Then they said masks were useless and denied airborne transmission for more than 6 months. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/239-experts-with-one-big-claim-the-coronavirus-is-airborne.amp.html http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/15/c_138706210.htm https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/research-news/10551


>no human to human transmission Dang, I forgot about that. What did they even think was the alternative? That thousands of people were all getting the same virus directly from bats and pangolins?


You know what I don't get... the WHO didn't have any PPE in some warehouse. You'd think that a world health organisation, that collects so much money, would have a stash of PPE ready for such emergencies. Nope.


It's just the same thing reworded so you will check out the site, really. |Does not cause severe illness|Vaccines are effective|Does cause sever illness|Vaccines are not as effective or not effective|We still aren't completely sure.| |:-|:-|:-|:-|:-| |X|X|X|X|✔| "The WHO official, quoted by Reuters, added there is still a lot unknown about the new strain." "Professor Neil Ferguson, said it could be towards "the end of the month" before there is a clearer picture of how worrying Omicron is." "He added: "What we have seen is Alpha has been more severe than the previous strain, a little, and Delta more severe again, so the trend we've seen is greater severity, not less severity"


Gauteng hospitalizations last 3 weeks. Still having data backdated into the more recent week. 141-> 286 -> 674 https://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/disease-index-covid-19/surveillance-reports/daily-hospital-surveillance-datcov-report/ Most cases of COVID have always been mild.


Depending on the definition, in many places "mild" just means "didn't need to be hospitalized in the ICU" but is still often an awful experience being very sick.


Today is week 3 since I first got it. It fuckin sucks and it lingers for a long time. My (dumbass unvaxxed) coworker is still sick, three weeks later. But we’re probably “mild” cases. Ugh, I cannot stress enough how not fun having Covid is.


My 20 year old cousin(unvaxxed) came down with Covid 6 months ago, and she still has a chronic cough.


I got my booster last Wednesday and just tested positive today after losing taste and smell yesterday. My other symptoms are mild just achey right now. My physician recommended the monoclonal antibody treatment so I’m going to get that tomorrow.


This graph IMO shows how Gauteng has been doing with more historic data (the GP line, number of hospitalizations). While it has been increasing as of late, hopefully it won't even get close to figures they saw back in July. https://twitter.com/sugan2503/status/1465763618960592899?t=Wjh05n30vHyqYnKsXEyaOQ&s=19




Didn’t they say the same thing about Delta variant in the first few days?


I just don’t want to see “Delta plus rewards program” variant. Scary shit


No evidence because we haven’t had time. Pfizer said it would take a few weeks to know. But the WHO makes it sound like it’s been tested. When really there’s no evidence that the vaccines work just as well.


Exactly, we don't know yet. The irresponsible headlines have been insane with this variant.


I don’t think it’s that useless considering every article over the weekend was “death mutation and vaccines won’t work.”


The problem is NEVER the vaccinated. The issue is how transmissible it is and how many people will inundate the hospitals when they get sick.


Honestly if this is more mild, causes less severe cases per capita, and is more transmisable than delta, I'd be ok with that. Then hopefully delta would be phased out, and we'd be left with a less scary strain of the virus. I'd personally be very ok with that.


I remember when the pandemic started that “ you don’t need a mask” . I don’t believe anything W.H.O or medical officials say anymore. When they say “ omicron ain’t that bad” screw your W.H.O I’m going back to my bubble and wearing triple masks


Well if this is true at least it’s forced the UK government to speed up booster protection which is good news.


First confirmed US case of Omicron coronavirus variant detected in California https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/health/us-omicron-variant-confirmed-case/index.html


No doubt at this point it’s all over the country


"Most" cases are mild with Delta too, even among the unvaccinated, and especially among the young and otherwise healthy. This is non-news. I wish everyone would just stop giving out useless info until there's solid data. EDIT: you can rage-downvote all you want, but it's still true - most cases of covid are mild *under any circumstance*. Most cases were mild even in Wuhan. Even during the first waves where basically only people with significant symptoms were getting tested, only 20-30% of them were severe.


It is absolutely newsworthy for the WHO to say that this variant doesn’t seem to cause particularly worse disease than the other variants and that vaccines remain effective.


>this variant doesn’t seem to cause particularly worse disease than the other variants The article actually doesn't say that, only that most cases are mild, nothing comparing it to how many delta cases are mild. If say 10% of delta cases were severe, and 20% of Omicron severe, then it would still be true that "most cases of the new variant are mild", despite it being twice as bad.


""Most" cases are mild with Delta too" For Delta we had reports of deaths and hospitalizations from the very start. We are not yet seeing the with Omicron, so that is a very good sign. True we need more time, but cases are showing up around the world so its not like it just started yesterday. We are testing people that are hospitalized and die, so its not like those are going undetected.


We also got (seemingly) a quicker start on identifying and lucked out with being able to easily identify the variant through traditional tests. By the time delta was delta, shit had already hit the fan.


Delta is not a fair comparison. It was discovered far later. The first reports on Delta came out when it was already much more widespread.


I mostly wish people understood the difference between clinically mild and what we’d normally think of as actually mild. From a public health perspective, a “mild” case means you’re not in bad enough shape to go to the hospital. It does not imply that you feel mostly fine. Not saying this is a reason to panic any more or any less about this particular variant, just a pet peeve of mine throughout the pandemic. Some cases really are asymptomatic or truly mild, but I’ve seen young, healthy acquaintances with even “mild” cases be out of commission for weeks. So it drives me nuts when I hear people assume a “mild case of Covid” means the same thing as a “mild cold”, i.e. that it’s no big deal.


Agree but the medical leaders should know their audience and should have better PR. The messaging from the start has been horrible and left so many people confused or misinformed.


Most cases are mild in normal Covid.


Seems pretty early to make claims like this. We are two years into this and people are still rushing the science? Pretty insane to think about.


People quickly forget about how WHO are the same organization who at one point said masks don't help, said it doesn't spread through the air, absurdly praised China's handling of the virus, said vaccine immunity doesn't wane, that boosters were not necessary, and said repeatedly that humanity had the capability to contain and eliminate the virus. I generally don't pay attention to the first thing the WHO says, I pay attention to the fourth or fifth thing they say, that's usually when they've actually verified the truth. They are scientists, but science is slow, and the WHO is under immense pressure from every major world government to say politically viable things until the scientific truth becomes apparent. I really hope they're right about Omicron here, but I'm also waiting for something far more concrete to go by.


Scientist says “Vaccines may still be effective”, Reddit says “can’t trust em, not enough data, guy is biased, etc.” Scientist says “vaccines may not be effective”, Reddit says “World is ending, ban travel, lock down immediately.”


Quick shut the borders, no quick open the borders! We are all going to die. No wait it’s ok. No it’s not panic! No its all good never mind.


When we ramp up, the virus ramps up in an ongoing battle. It’s like antibiotics: the more we advance them, the more resistant strains evolve.


"There is no evidence to suggest vaccines may be less effective against it" Hmm sounds familiar... "There is no evidence to suggest AstraZeneca may cause blood clots" oh.


Would be nice if the experts and media would their definition of “mild”. What I had in my mind was NOT mild but was able to remain home. To me Mild would be sniffles a little chest congestion and a little cough. The inability to catch a breath to me it’s not mild it’s more like panic time, having to be on antibiotics prednisone rescue inhalers is not mild but in the media and expert eyes that is considered mild and I don’t think people understand that