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Third world country with nukes will not handle Omicron as well as Europe

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That’s the bottom line of this useful summary of the situation from David Wallace-Wells.

In a nutshell:

(1) Data from Europe and Asia confirm that Omicron is a lot less severe than Delta — maybe half as severe, probably because it tends to affect the upper respiratory track much more than the lungs.

(2) Omicron is vastly more infectious than Delta, and indeed the data suggest that being fully vaccinated provides essentially no protection against being infected by the variant.

(3) Being fully vaccinated, and especially boosted, does provide excellent protection against hospitalization and death from Omicron.

(4) The still-early data from the USA suggest that the effects of the Omicron variant in this country are going to be a lot worse than they’ve been in Europe, for a number of reasons, the most important being lower fully vaccinated rates, and much lower boosted rates, than in most of Europe, especially among the elderly, and especially since vaccination and boosting rates in the USA tend to be so uneven on a regional basis.

Read the article for a nice breakdown of (4) in particular.

A question I’m wondering about at the moment is how many cases of Omicron are we actually having per day in America? The official rolling seven-day total from the CDC is over 600,000 and that number is still going way up pretty much every day. However, my understanding is that this figure doesn’t include people who have positive home tests and don’t report that to health authorities, people with symptoms who don’t get tested, and people who are asymptomatic but infected. This would seem to suggest that we’re looking at perhaps several million new cases per day currently.

The “good” news about that is that January is likely to be something of a health care crisis in much of the USA, but that this particular wave of COVID should be pass quite quickly — although obviously not quickly enough for the unvaccinated, and the overwhelmed health care workers who must bear the brunt of the national pandemic of deadly irresponsibility that is 100% the fault of our increasingly murderous Republican party. ETA: Also not quickly enough for seriously ill non-COVID patients who can’t be hospitalized because of the increasingly murderous Republican party. Thanks to Daftpunkd for this important further point.

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