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posted by martyb on Thursday December 02, @09:21AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ten-percent-of-the-US-population-lives-in-California dept.

Omicron is now in the U.S., with first case found in California:

The first U.S. case of the omicron variant has been identified in California in a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The patient had mild symptoms that were improving and was in isolation, officials said.

Much remains unknown about the highly mutated variant, which scientists fear could be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines. The new variant has been identified in more than 20 countries since it was first identified in southern Africa last week.

[...] Federal health officials are expanding a program that offers free coronavirus testing at key U.S. airports, part of strengthened efforts to monitor international arrivals amid growing concerns about the omicron variant.

Under the program, visitors from eight African nations, including those connecting through Europe, who arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, San Francisco International and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airports, will be given the option of taking a test when they arrive. Those who volunteer also will be given the option of an at-home test to take three to five days after arrival.

International arrivals already are required to show proof of a negative virus test before boarding U.S.-bound flights, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing this week that the screening program at four of the nation’s busiest airports will provide additional data that can aid in the agency’s monitoring efforts.

First case of omicron COVID variant identified in the US:

The first confirmed US case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in California, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a White House briefing Wednesday. The infected person arrived in the US from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29, Fauci said.

"Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California at San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at the CDC as being consistent with the omicron variant," said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

[...] The person was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine -- but had not had a booster shot -- and experienced only mild symptoms that are now improving. They are quarantining, and all close contacts have so far tested negative, Fauci said. The person is a resident of San Francisco between the ages of 18 and 49, and was not hospitalized, California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Wednesday.

"We knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States," Fauci said.

Fauci reiterated that within the next three weeks, there will be a lot more information about the transmissibility and severity of this strain of the disease, as well as the effectiveness of vaccinations and booster shots against the omicron variant. The new variant was first identified in South Africa in late November.

Also at Ars Technica and www.aljazeera.com


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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:43AM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:43AM (#1201420)

    If you are not vaccinated, get the jab.

    If you are vaccinated, get the booster. The data is unclear but you may not be protected.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:02PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:02PM (#1201480)

      Rushing to get the "booster" for a vaccine that is already out of date for the current variants is like installing Norton Anti-Virus from 2 years ago *again* on your PC thinking it will give you great protection.

      Your immune system already has a level of protection from prior vaccination. If you do catch COVID, it should not be a huge deal. Then, as a result, you will have long lasting, excellent immunity against the virus that is out there CURRENTLY.

      If you really wanted "full" vaccine protection (and bear in mind, the vaccine is already out of date), you'd have to get a booster every few months. Odds are good you may catch COVID anyway after being vaccinated, as many have.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @03:36PM (5 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @03:36PM (#1201526) Journal

        <no-sarcasm>
        A booster for a vaccine that works, is NOT like reinstalling the same Norton Anti-Virus on your computer. The human body and cells do not work the same as a computer.

        As for the effectiveness of current vaccines against new covid variants, that is a different topic. Not to be conflated with whether boosters are good or bad.

        The current vaccine may or may not have a useful effect against any particular new variant. That is a topic worthy of discussion without conflating it with boosters for variants that it is proven to be effective against.

        Maybe we might stop having new variants if there were not some subset of the population that is unvaccinated and continues to spread the disease around and evolve new variants. When there is no pool of "incubators" to develop these mutations, the new variants will stop.

        As with many things, not just vaccines, stupid people are why we cannot have nice things.
        </no-sarcasm>

        I notice that for each booster shot, they use a fresh needle?!? Don't they know about re-usable boosters?

        --
        Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:54PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:54PM (#1201532)

          Maybe we might stop having new variants if there were not some subset of the population that is unvaccinated and continues to spread the disease around and evolve new variants. When there is no pool of "incubators" to develop these mutations, the new variants will stop.

          My copy of the NecronOmicron clearly states only the vaccinated present with selection pressure to incubate vaccine escape variants.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:33PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:33PM (#1201545)

            The fact is that the coronavirus vaccines DO PRETTY MUCH NOTHING to prevent spread of the virus. Vaccinated spread just as much as unvaccinated. Update your narrative: the vaccines are now to prevent overflowing the hospital emergency rooms because they supposedly make sure your case of COVID, should you catch it, milder than if you were not vaccinated.

            As a matter of fact, right now the highest vaccinated countries are experiencing a wave of infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.

            This is actually probably a good thing since getting exposed to the REAL, CURRENT virus will provide far better and longer lasting immunity than the short lived "sugar high" sort of protection the coronavirus vaccines give.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @05:08PM (2 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:08PM (#1201551) Journal

              You provide no citations for the nonsense you spew.

              But here is one point you failed to undress: [cdc.gov]

              COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection, serious illness, and death. Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated [cdc.gov] will still get COVID-19.

              An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough infection.”

              --
              Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:22PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:22PM (#1201492)

      > The data is unclear

      The data isn't in yet, however, preliminary observations on wastewater, positive tests and hospitalizations in SA are. What we currently see is hospitalizations aren't tracking positive tests which aren't tracking prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 specific nucleotide acids in wastewater. ie: the indicators are that omicron is so mild most people don't even know they're infected. We will not know for sure if this variant is causing severe illness comparable with previous variants until next week.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @12:55AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @12:55AM (#1201698)

        How much lag time in these indicators?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @10:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @10:38PM (#1201982)

          Weeks to months. In addition, it doesn't factor in the age disparity with case severity or the fact that every day increases the amount of immune and partially immune individuals.

    • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:36PM (#1201607)

      STFU, you stupid bitch.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:19PM (#1201637)

      What myocarditis? [zerohedge.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM (#1201639)

      If you got the booster, get another one...

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @09:48AM (37 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @09:48AM (#1201421) Homepage Journal

    We need to subsidize the airlines, and get the planes flying again at pre-Covid levels! And, we need to surge the border! And, we need to hug a Chinaman!

    We have the most fucked up, hodge-podge, hit-or-miss pandemic policies imaginable. When international travel is shut down, I'll start to take the authorities a little bit seriously.

    --
    Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @10:15AM (21 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @10:15AM (#1201424)

      We need to subsidize the airlines, and get the planes flying again at pre-Covid levels! And, we need to surge the border! And, we need to hug a Chinaman!

      We need to come up with a bunch of straw men, cut them all down, and then strut around smugly congratulating ourselves!

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:41AM (18 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:41AM (#1201426) Homepage Journal

        Want to stick with facts, huh? Well, fact is, we're doing something terribly wrong. The richest countries have the highest death rates. And, I don't accept the common wisdom that dark skinned people are too ignorant to count.

        --
        Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Thursday December 02, @10:49AM (4 children)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday December 02, @10:49AM (#1201428)

          We also have the highest number of old people. Ever taken a look at the age pyramid of Niger? Half the country ain't old enough to fuck legally in the US. Also, since they generally do understand how epidemics work, because they very likely have one in recent memory unlike us where only the ancient ones even know what a pandemic looks like (by the way, how many 80+ year olds do you know that believe the conspiracies?), and since they know that there ain't a medical system that will catch them if they fall due to their own stupidity, they tend to take warnings serious and try to avoid getting sick as well as they possibly can.

          And guess what, in this case that actually works.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:15PM (#1201636)
            >> how many 80+ year olds do you know that believe the conspiracies?

            I knew a few. but for some reason or other they're dead.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55PM (#1201654)

            Niger

            THAT'S RACIST!!!

            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday December 03, @07:11AM (1 child)

              by Opportunist (5545) on Friday December 03, @07:11AM (#1201767)

              I agree, but don't tell me that, tell that those Ni... who named their country that way!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, @08:31AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, @08:31AM (#1202472)

                You must have missed the memo, another sad misunderstanding. It's their word and they are the only ones allowed to use it. No need to thank me just correcting the record.

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:09PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:09PM (#1201458)

          What America is doing wrong is that they want to remain "free". Free to travel wherever they like, free to leave there homes whenever they like, free do what they think is best for their own bodies, free to believe that evolution does not exist therefore all these viruses must be "manufactured", and so on. Putting ones life on the line to remain "free" is considered heroic.

          At this point the politicians know damn well that if they pull more of the same shit that other countries do, these people will vote them out of office or, more likely now, threaten their very lives.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:04PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:04PM (#1201483)

            Well, what would you expect from a political/corporate/media conglomerate that did everything it could to steal (sorry, "fortify") the election?

          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by number11 on Thursday December 02, @07:01PM (1 child)

            by number11 (1170) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @07:01PM (#1201589)

            What America is doing wrong is that they want to remain "free". Free to travel wherever they like, free to leave there homes whenever they like...

            Free to infect people they have contact with (or who have to breathe the same air). Free to fill the ICUs so that there isn't space for people with heart attacks or accident victims. Free to demand subsidized care when they do come down with covid (if they have insurance at all, the company will just raise everybody's premiums to cover the cost). Ah, freedumb!

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:38PM (#1201649)

              Ah, freedumb!

              I zee you az ze number elf, iz it from ze camp? [babylonbee.com]

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @05:11PM (6 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:11PM (#1201554) Journal

          we're doing something terribly wrong. The richest countries have the highest death rates.

          I would point out that in some of the richest countries, that is those rich countries with the largest concentrations of the stupidest people, we have many people who won't take one of the most basic precautions of getting vaccinated.

          I wouldn't mind them not getting vaccinated, if they would just stay home and not spread the disease and its variants.

          --
          Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @05:43PM (5 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:43PM (#1201560) Homepage Journal

            Let's get this straight. Poor countries can't afford the vaxx, but they have lower death rates. Richer countries get the vaxx, but they have higher death rates. Conclusion: people die because they don't get the vaxx.

            You've bought a pig in a poke. And, even as you watch the cat crawl out of the bag and go racing away, you won't believe that there is no pig.

            --
            Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @08:35PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @08:35PM (#1201621) Journal

          2nd US omicron case just traveled to NYC anime convention with 53K attendees

          https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/12/2nd-us-omicron-case-just-traveled-to-nyc-anime-convention-with-53k-attendees/ [arstechnica.com]

          I bet in poorer countries, they don't have one infected person as likely to travel to an event with 53,000 attendees, and then return home. Also, no doubt infecting others while en route to/from the event.

          I suspect in poorer countries people are more tribal, have contact with fewer people, and don't travel as far or as much or to as large of a gathering.

          --
          Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:26PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:26PM (#1201659) Homepage Journal

            Anime? You said ANIME? Jesus Christ on a Crutch. People who watch or read Asian/Oriental entertainment are obvious vectors! How hard is it for a virus to hide between the pixels?

            (I suppose I need a /sarcasm tag here.)

            --
            Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:58PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:58PM (#1201477)

        When is the Burning Strawman Festival? Asking for a friend.

        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday December 03, @04:31PM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 03, @04:31PM (#1201843) Journal

          In this place? Any time Hallow, Runaway, NPC-$BIGNUM, or any of a number of ACs who are likely one of the above decide to comment.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday December 02, @02:05PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 02, @02:05PM (#1201484)

      When international travel is shut down

      You mean how Biden already banned travel from southern Africa?

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Thursday December 02, @02:13PM (7 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday December 02, @02:13PM (#1201487)

      International travel was shutdown until less than a month ago, and they just shut it down again from the seven identified Omicron hotspots.

      Funny how similar this is to the selective shutdowns at the start of the Trump administration. I know: different reasons - or are they? Fear is at the root of them both.

      --
      "You're all f-cking peasants as far as I can see."
      John Lennon (also sung by David Bowie) Working Class Hero
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:19PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:19PM (#1201516)

        I know: different reasons - or are they? Fear is at the root of them both.

        Same reason: precaution, not fear. Exactly as any competent epidemiologist would advise! [nih.gov]

        The WHO and several governments issued travel advice to hard‐hit areas. Hospitals, schools and borders were closed.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @06:06PM (5 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @06:06PM (#1201572) Homepage Journal

          A genuine epidemiologist would shut down the airlines, period. Only travel essential to the distribution of essential supplies and goods would continue, and even that would be curtailed to some extent.

          https://www.webcamtaxi.com/en/airport.html [webcamtaxi.com]

          I can see aircraft around the world, carrying potential spreaders to destinations hundred and thousands of miles to spread wherever they go. An entire industry of vectors, we might say.

          --
          Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:22PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:22PM (#1201801)

            Genuine epidemiologists know that travel bans accomplish nothing once the virus has already entered a community. Politicians love them though, because they're grandiose demonstrations of "doing something!"

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 03, @03:36PM (3 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 03, @03:36PM (#1201822) Homepage Journal

              Ahhhh, you've made my point. All international travel should have been shut down way back when the Democrats were chanting "hug a Chinese"

              Once again, Trump to the first faltering step toward that end, until the Dems attacked him on grounds that shutting down travel was racisssssss. At which point he backed off, and permitted the virus to gain access to the US.

              Progress blocked by progressives - more news at 11!

              --
              Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
              • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Friday December 03, @10:34PM (2 children)

                by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 03, @10:34PM (#1201981)

                It was racist (and pointless) because the ban only applied to Chinese nationals. US citizens traveling from there were free to come back with not so much as a check for sniffles.

                It's looking like the current travel ban is pointless, as it is obviously here already.

                --
                Dealing out the agony within
                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 04, @12:34AM (1 child)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 04, @12:34AM (#1202013) Homepage Journal

                  I love the sibilance of that word - racisssssss. Like a snake hissing. And, of course, you can't argue with a snake. Always remember, 'don't step on snek'. Now, about that racissss move - were Chinese who were American nationals also barred from returning home? Were any Americans of any ancestry at all barred from returning home? Were Americans of either gender barred? Maybe Americans less than 4 feet tall? Americans with tats? Americans in high heels? Americans with falsetto voices?

                  As I've said repeatedly, Trump took the first bumbling step to shutting down travel, and your clan went immediately on the offensive. What your side should have done was to tell Trump, 'Yeah, we want to bring out citizens home, but we need to TEST THEM upon arrival!' Did ya do that? No? Your objection is meaningless.

                  --
                  Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
                  • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Monday December 06, @08:06PM

                    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 06, @08:06PM (#1202576)

                    *I* did, actually. I personally advocated for a two week quarantine upon entry regardless of who they were. Testing would have been a great idea too, but we of course didn't do that either. Of course, I'm just a schlub that nobody would listen to anyway so, eh?

                    A first bumbling step that was effectively no step at all. It was motivated by "keeping the Chinese out" instead of keeping a virus out. Maybe if we didn't have a bumbling asshole in charge? Eh, probably not. I doubt HRC would have done much better.

                    --
                    Dealing out the agony within
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @08:46PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @08:46PM (#1201625)

      We need to subsidize the airlines, and get the planes flying again at pre-Covid levels! And, we need to surge the border! And, we need to hug a Chinaman!

      We have the most fucked up, hodge-podge, hit-or-miss pandemic policies imaginable. When international travel is shut down, I'll start to take the authorities a little bit seriously.

      Oh now you're fucking worried about Corona response. Fuck me, that's hilarious.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:23PM (4 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:23PM (#1201658) Homepage Journal

        Dude. Coffee. You need some.

        I've complained all along about the Dem response to Trump's early attempts to shut down travel. Remember "hug a Chinese"? Whatever bullshit either side wants to clutter the scene with, Trump tried to shut down travel in the very early days of the pandemic. Democrats screamed that meaningless refrain, 'DAS RACISSSSSS' and demanded that everyone in the US find a Chinese person to hug.

        Trump buckled under pressure, and backed off shutting down travel, when he should have got more aggressive, and shut down all ports of entry into the United States.

        Once we had confirmed cases here in the US, it was already too late to prevent the pandemic reaching us. But, it's still not to late to prevent the different strains from entering or leaving the country.

        Problem is, NO ONE is willing to just shut it all down.

        And, my position all along has been, if you aren't willing to quarantine completely, all the petty bullshit authoritarian measures from either party are just that - BULLSHIT! I refuse to take half measures to appease half assed fools.

        --
        Taking bets: When does Biden's approval rating reach 15%?
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @10:37PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @10:37PM (#1201664)

          Parent said:
          "hug a Chinese"

          That's grammatically incorrect, as the object in that sentence is an adjective. The correct phrasing would be, "hug a Chinaman."

          • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Friday December 03, @01:37AM

            by ChrisMaple (6964) on Friday December 03, @01:37AM (#1201710)

            It is common usage in U.S. English to optionally omit implied words whose presence is understood by most listeners:

            "hug a Chinese [person]."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:27AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:27AM (#1201746)

          You should lay off the covfefe.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:31AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:31AM (#1201749)

            And, you should lay off the CNN.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55AM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55AM (#1201422)

    The next letter in line was Nu, which they skipped because it might be confused with the word "new."
    They also skipped Xi, because they don't want it to be associated with someone who might happen to be named Xi. But totally not the Chinese dictator who the WHO totally doesn't take their marching orders from.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Opportunist on Thursday December 02, @10:51AM (5 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday December 02, @10:51AM (#1201429)

      Xi is a common name in China. How'd you feel if you had a common name and they named a virus strain after you?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:23PM (#1201465)
        I dunno. John is already a pejorative. Johnvirusdisease19 or JOVID19 for short doesn't sound too bad to me.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:37PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:37PM (#1201608)

        I do have a common name, common enough that there actually is a disease named after me, because lots of diseases are named after people. Of course, it's not actually named after me, it's named after a doctor that has the same name. And I live in a place that has a completely different disease named after it.

        It doesn't matter at all. Of course, I'm also not the one person most responsible for creating a worldwide pandemic.

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Friday December 03, @05:42AM

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 03, @05:42AM (#1201754)

          Of course, I'm also not the one person most responsible for creating a worldwide pandemic

          Well, we can only take your word for that...

        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday December 03, @07:18AM (1 child)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Friday December 03, @07:18AM (#1201768)

          You might want to tell that to Corona Beer [metro.co.uk]. There's always going to be some dimwit who thinks you're responsible by association or just by having a name reminding them of the problem at hand.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday December 02, @01:27PM (6 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 02, @01:27PM (#1201466)

      WHO doesn't take their marching orders from Xi Jingping any more than they take them from Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump/Joe Biden. And you can bet that the rest of the G7 and/or UN Security Council get more say than most.

      That's the thing about international organizations: Not all national governments are run by nice people, and sometimes said international organizations have to deal with that in order to get something done. And this isn't limited to inter-governmental bodies: Lots of multinational corporations do this too.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:13PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:13PM (#1201538)
        The WHO most certainly sucks up to China. Taiwan tried to warn the WHO in December of 2019 that the virus was a serious threat and that everyone needed to take precautions, including masking. The WHO refused to even communicate with them. Because China.

        The WHO has been one fück up after another. Time for countries to develop alternative means of communication rather than dependence on a seriously flawed political organization.

        The WHO is a central point of failure. And it continued to fail throughout the pandemic. Delayed the call of a pandemic way beyond what it should have to protect investors of WHO pandemic bonds, Didn't push back when China first tried to blame other countries as the source, outright wrong advice on how masks "aren't necessary for the general public", absolutely wrong advice claiming the the virus was only transmitted by droplets that would not be suspended in the air more than 6 feet, and no worry about aerosols, lies about the efficacy of masks when we had proof they worked for the general public from the 198 flu pandemic , lies, lies, lies. But what do you expect from career politicians? Time to bypass them, and route around the damage.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday December 02, @07:09PM (4 children)

          by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 02, @07:09PM (#1201595)

          What exactly do you suggest as an alternative? Keeping in mind that the behavior of diseases nor the properties of the various tools available to combat them does not magically change depending on which country they're in.

          For example, if you were to create your own international medical network with blackjack and hookers, how do you handle all the countries that aren't willing to join it, some of which border countries that are part of it? Imagine you have some sort of US-led international system, but the Canadians don't want to go along with it and just keep doing their own thing, how does that affect Montana and other states bordering Canada?

          The WHO definitely isn't perfect. But nobody has come up with anything that is both demonstrably better and actually exists outside of the imagination.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:21PM (#1201599)

            But nobody has come up with anything that is both demonstrably better and actually exists outside of the imagination.

            There's always the mafia.. Oh wait, they're already running the show. I think it's time to toss aside the idealism and just accept the truth.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM (#1201641)
            The US and Canada already have separate border strategies, both operating independently of the current WHO recommendations, which are NOT to shut down borders. So we already tell the WHO to fuck off when it comes to covid policies.

            Same with the bullshit they're pushing about vaccine inequity being behind the current mutation. Countries like Nigeria and Papau New Guinea don't want more vaccines because most of the population doesn't want them. Half believe covid is a hoax. They don't have the infrastructure to deliver enough shots in arms either.

            While the first omicron patient was identified in South Africa, it appears Nigeria was the true source and hub. So an infinite supply of vaccines wouldn't have made a difference; neither would removing patent protection. The WHO are lying politicians or they would start placing guilt where it belongs (in this case Nigeria, not patents and not lack of vaccines).

            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday December 02, @10:17PM (1 child)

              by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 02, @10:17PM (#1201657)

              At this point, I think it's worth pointing out that the WHO has zero actual power to do anything other than politely ask governments to pretty please do XYZ, and ship supplies from point A to point B. Political leaders can choose to follow their recommendations, or tell them to fuck off as they like.

              Your idea about what they do is basically complete fantasy.

              --
              The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:32AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:32AM (#1201707)

                Butbutbut muh NWO UN soldiers black helicopters JADE HELM!

                JADE HELM, MAN! JADE HELM!

                Also for the record, I have no problem sending the US army to Portland and Seattle to stop lefties from burning them down.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @11:28AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @11:28AM (#1201434)

    I for one welcome our new, Decepticons with their leader Omnicron, overlords!
    Next up, Covid names with T-800 and T-1000 as SkyNet activates the latest wave to enrich the pockets of Pharma companies worldwide.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @05:18PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:18PM (#1201555) Journal

      In honor of the stable genius who not only did not do anything to acknowledge the existence of the virus, [soylentnews.org] did nothing for a long time [washingtonpost.com] to stop it in the early stages, and even worked against efforts to contain it . . . why don't we name it . . .

      The Trump Virus

      --
      Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by isostatic on Thursday December 02, @12:56PM

    by isostatic (365) on Thursday December 02, @12:56PM (#1201454) Journal

    I am Lrrr, ruler of the Planet Omicron Persei 8!

  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday December 02, @03:01PM (6 children)

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @03:01PM (#1201508)

    In the news today, most of the omicron infected passengers, who went into quarantine in the Netherlands, said they were vaccinated. A news quote translated by Google:

    Of the 61 infected passengers on the two KLM flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Schiphol, more than 90 percent said they had been vaccinated.

    It appears that none of them needed hospitalization.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @03:41PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @03:41PM (#1201528) Journal

      So vaccinated persons catching omicron have mild symptoms.

      How bad are the symptoms of unvaccinated persons catching omicron? That is a good question to ask. The answer might suggest that the vaccine makes the symptoms less severe, or it might suggest the vaccine is ineffective against the new variant which has mild symptoms.

      --
      Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone . . . the microchips are not in the vaccine but are in the Ivermectin!
      • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday December 02, @09:10PM

        by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @09:10PM (#1201633)

        I should have said "none of the 61 needed hospitalization". So not just the vaccinated.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:45PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @03:45PM (#1201530)

      All of them were younger than the demographic where hospitalization is common. Nothing can be concluded by their mild symptoms.

      Maybe Omicron infection is less severe, maybe more severe, maybe roughly the same. We'll know in several weeks-- three weeks after it spreads, in reasonably large numbers, into western countries with older, less healthy populations. Africa is a content of young people.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:21PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @04:21PM (#1201541)
        It's now known to have been spreading undetected for more than 2 mon, mostly because it literally is no big deal. People aren't dying from it, and if it hadn't been for routine testing, the index patient would not have been caught. The symptoms are mild - much milder than the vaccines for many people .

        This was expected. The mutations are the virus' way of "throwing enough shit at the wall to see what sticks." A virus the is just as easy to infect others, but is mostly symptomless, will easily displace a variant that makes people obviously sick - people tend not to hang around much against others coughing their guts out.

        The displacement of delta by omicron has already happened in South Africa - 74% of all new cases are omicron.

        You can expect the same around the world over the next 2 years, after wich it becomes like the other 4 coronaviruses that cause colds in humans.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:35AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:35AM (#1201709)

          I'm not sure, but even if you're wrong, it'll just go away when it gets warmer like the flu.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:51PM (#1201609)

      "said"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:34PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @07:34PM (#1201606)

    The assumption seems to be that you get one strain or the other. And with previous variants, which all had more or less the same biology, that was roughly true, because immunity to one, whether from vaccine or infection, provided at least partial immunity to the others.

    But this one has changed enough that it's evading immunity from the existing vaccines. So it's probably evading natural immunity from infection too. You could get both, possibly at the same time. That could kill or hospitalize people who would have had only mild effects from just one.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:35PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:35PM (#1201648)
      People are recovering from this one too, which means the immune system works against it. Considering how it's been around for 2 months without getting noticed because it DOES NOT kill people, and it's already sisplaced delta as the #1 covid virus in South Africa, looks luke the version that will take us out of the pandemic and into the endemic state. Any virus that now wants to compete will have to be even more innocuous.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:05AM (#1201699)

        I mean pre-existing immunity from previous infection - not that it's completely evading the immune system, which obviously it isn't, since it seems to be no more dangerous.

  • (Score: 2) by LabRat on Friday December 03, @05:02PM (1 child)

    by LabRat (14896) on Friday December 03, @05:02PM (#1201858)
    I'm hopeful that this viral mutation is following Plague Inc. [wikipedia.org] rules (which are modeled on science but not perfect): with this many mutations at once on the spike protein which the vaccines target, Omicron will likely partially evade current vaccines (esp. Janssen), and the number of mutations will increase spread while reducing lethality. [sarcasm] Rookie mistake, virus control player; don't mutate too much at once. [/sarcasm]

    We don't really have enough info to know yet, and we won't probably until next year.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @05:37PM (#1201868)

      Wish that game was better.

      The strategy of "spread first, then turn deadly once everyone is infected" is too effective. And it's silly, because nobody ever actually recovers once infected.

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