By: Yitzy Cohen – Lakewood, NJ
Days ago a new Covid variant popped up, named Omicron, which was initially detected in South Africa. The new Omicron variant has 32 different mutations in the spike protein causing many scientists to sound alarm saying perhaps vaccines won’t be as effective and that it can potentially be extremely transmissible and dangerous.
Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London tweeted that Omicron should be “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile”. He went as far to say that it is “worse than nearly anything else. “Striking a similar note British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “It does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated…it might in part reduce the protection of our vaccines over time.”
Yesterday, after confirming a single omicron case, Israel closed its borders to all foreign travelers for two weeks. Dr Fauci, an alarmist, stated he ‘would not be surprised’ if the Omicron variant is already in the USA. Similarly the UK tightened Covid restrictions and OCR testing for travellers. Powered by anxiety, stocks had its worst day of the year on Friday with the DOW dropping 905 points, and travel airlines falling more than 10%.
However, the initial South African Doctor who discovered Omicron, Dr Angelique Coetzee, said the symptoms she saw were mild, saying most of the men that came with Omicron were ‘feeling so tired’. Adding, they ‘do not suffer lost taste or smell.’ Concluding ‘They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms’. It is critical to note roughly half of her patients that tested positive with this strain were vaccinated.
Professor Calum Semple, a microbiologist from the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies played down the fear stating to the BBC “Immunity from vaccination is still likely to protect you from severe disease.” Adding, “You might get a snuffle or a headache or a filthy cold but your chance of coming into hospital, or intensive care or sadly dying are greatly diminished by the vaccine and still will be going into the future,” concluding “This is not a disaster, and the headlines from some of my colleagues saying ‘this is horrendous’ I think are hugely overstating the situation.”
Regardless, it’s always good to daven with extra kavana.
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