After two years, could we please stop freaking out about every new variant or development? Could we use a little common sense and a little of our accumulated knowledge about respiratory viruses? Could we turn the rhetoric down on vaccines and masks and lockdowns, at least for the holidays?
Here is what I think the early evidence shows on the Moronic variant, with the same caveats I will mention every time. This variant is being introduced into a population with substantial immunity to various forms of CV-19. Lots of people are vaxed, lots of people have been infected, lots of people are both. You can’t compare it to other strains. There are many reasons why a new set of mutations might be favored over a prior set. The new mutations, contrary to some of what you may read, are not always “better” or “worse”. Think of flu; every now and then there is a significantly more troublesome strain, but there are constant mutations that are mild. Transmission advantages are not the only factor in the evolution of a virus, so a new strain may not always be more transmissible. Currently there are four seasonal coronaviruses that commonly circulate so major strains can co-exist as well.
Right now, simply no reason for pronouncements like that from the lifelong bureaucratic head of the NIH, soon to retire and undoubtedly be replaced by someone even worse, Francis Collins, that we will see a million cases a day this winter. If that happened this would be the fastest epidemic in history. Does anyone not wonder how these people got and kept their jobs? Is it not apparent to everyone that we need to clean house in our health care agencies and outsource their work to the private sector.
I don’t know if or by how much the Moronic variant is more transmissible than Delta, and neither does anyone else in the current environment. Transmission rates, whether people talk about doubling times or reproduction rates or anything else, is not some ironclad equation like the Pythagorean formula (although in the woke world, I understand that depending on the color of your skin, gender and/or sexual orientation, those formulas can vary and change). Those metrics are based on assumptions that may or may not be accurate. No one knows how many people are actually infectious at any one time, or for how long or who infected whom. And don’t ever forget the role of testing–more tests equals more cases, which may or may not be more infected or infectious people. So when people said South Africa was seeing record cases; no they weren’t, they were seeing record testing.
Moronic appears less lethal (again, unlike real life, where the Moronic strain in our politics is proving deadly to every facet of life), but I would also caution on that as well because with so much adaptive immunity in the population, we would expect to see a lot less serious disease. My main point is for people to stop the hysteria, ignore what the media and the public health non-experts and politicians say and just go about your business. No need to wear masks, if they didn’t stop Delta how would they possibly stop this oh so much more fearsome Moronic strain? No need to avoid relatives and friends over the holiday. No need to shut schools, businesses or stay at home. It would be great and completely appropriate to shut government down indefinitely.
I will bring you the research and data as it unfolds and is published. Meantime, have a great holiday.