I’m surprised we don’t have a thread for omicron, yet. So here we go.

There’s data emerging from South Africa. They haven’t looked at vaccination, yet, but omicron is much more likely to reinfect than any earlier wave.

Updated: here’s the actual paper

It’s too soon to know whether vaccination or prior infection protects against hospitalization. The data so far on vaccination status and hospitalization is that of 1531 hospitalized with omicron, 2% were vaccinated, 23% were unvaccinated, and the rest have unknown vaccination status.

(From “your local epidemiologist” email.)

Lots of South Africans have prior infections, too, and i hope they look at vaccination, prior infection, and the previously unexposed separately.

Hospitalizations from omicron are younger than for prior variants. Kids jump out as more likely to be hospitalized

Also stolen from your local epidemiologist, Katelyn Jetelina on Substack

What, I totally had a thread for that. I had a separate thread for delta too remember:

I actually have some thoughts

Uh maybe you should speak for yourself. This variant concerns me a lot with my father in a nursing home right now and having potentially no protection from it despite being vaccinated and having had a prior infection.

I just tacked my concerns into the vaccination thread, but its own thread makes more sense.

Received an article yesterday regarding the variant in Maryland. 3 confirmed cases in Baltimore. 2 cases are in the same household (1 vaccinated individual traveled from South Africa and 1 unvaccinated with close contact with this individual) and 1 unrelated case with vaccinated individual with no known recent travel history. None are hospitalized.

@ao_fan , it’s too soon to know for sure, but it’s highly likely that prior infection and vaccination (especially with a booster) will provide protection against serious illness. There are two main lines of protection, antibodies that keep you from being infected at all, and a cellular immune response that doesn’t act fast enough to prevent infection, but usually does kick in before you get severely ill.

The antibodies are fairly specific, and it looks like they aren’t very useful against omicron. But cellular immunity is less specific. For instance, beta (which never went anywhere) had a different enough spike that all the vaccines were less effective against infection, but all the US vaccines also produced cellular immunity that targeted beta.

If you haven’t gotten boosted, this is a good time to do it. The boosters greatly increase the cellular immune response.

But your father already had covid and vaccination. He probably has decent cellular immunity.

Our freedoms have been restricted for about two years now.

The pitch was, once enough people are vaccinated we can go back to normal.

There will continue to be new variants for the rest of our lifetimes.

So if new variants mean we can’t go back to normal, they also mean we’ll never go back to normal and that our freedoms will be permanently restricted.


Speaking for myself, my freedoms have been restricted far more by my attempting to avoid covid than by anything the government has done. In fact, my employer’s shift to WFH has given me some more freedom.

I think the restrictions we’ll be seeing going forward will mostly be around getting vaccinated and wearing masks, neither of which really prevent you from doing much. I don’t think we’re going to see mass closures again. Possibly, if the hospitals are overwhelmed, they will close to non-essential business. But that will be the fault of the virus.


What freedoms of yours have been restricted by government action in the last year? Serious question.

In the beginning, we had a lot of shut-downs. Heck, there were two weeks when landscapers weren’t sure they were allowed to operate in my state. (And i had a big job pushed back a couple of months as a result.) Gatherings were restricted. Businesses closed.

All that is past. There’s literally nothing that’s required to be closed in my very blue state. I haven’t gone to the gym, but it’s open. Restaurants are serving people indoors. I’m not going, but someone is. The restaurant industry is hurting because people like me are afraid to go, not because of government restrictions.

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When people say freedoms they mean privileges.

When they say their choices are being taken away, they mean they actually have choices, they just don’t like the consequences of their choices because it’s resulting in inconveniences.


My “privilege” to travel out of the country.

My “privilege” to have a private gathering (still limited to 25 people)

My “privilege” to go to a gym, there are still capacity limits.

If we want to expand to “privileges” which require mandatory vaccination the list is much longer and includes things like the “privilege” to work remotely.

Let’s see where we snap back to with a few more months of being indoors and now a new variants.

Also there were significantly stronger restrictions in place earlier this year, we had 4 months of a stay at home order. What assurances is the government providing now that a repeat order won’t happen due to Omicron?


It’s laughable to argue this pandemic hasn’t led to a significant increase in government intrusion into our lives.

You can argue it’s a fair trade for greater safety, but is that a trade you want to make indefinitely as variants continue to emerge?

Being scared of this variant empowers greater government overreach.


:grimacing: i think snik is becoming a republican.

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Nobody around here acts as if there is a pandemic going on at all. Everything is open. Few, if any, wear masks. The hospitals are full.

There are about 10 families in my church’s congregation with COVID right now, a few hospitalized with severe cases, and still only maybe a third of the people wear masks at church.


so, he needs to get that booster.

but still, my uncle getting so sick with covid even though he’s vaccinated plus booster makes me question how safe my father is. i don’t know which strain my uncle has though.

they have a discharge meeting with my father next week. i’m not sure what that means in terms of being discharged. hopefully he can avoid covid in the meantime.

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:confused: you can’t travel out of the country? this is news to me. or do you really want to go to south africa right now?

my gym is open. not sure about capacity limits being a big issue. i haven’t really gone to the gym since the pandemic started. lost interest. i should probably stop paying them every month.

i don’t think private gatherings are limited here.

won’t they become faster as this goes on in developing boosters to combat new variants, so any restrictions would be temporary?

oh, in new york, your rights are limited if you choose not to get vaccinated. you cannot go to restaurants and other such venues.

BUT good news is, you can visit nursing homes to your hearts content, and kill all the old people with the covid you bring them.

the hypocrisy in this regard is astounding to me. before my father wound up in the nursing home again, i assumed that nursing homes wouldn’t allow unvaccinated visitors, just as they can’t go to a whole list of venues including hospitals, but they are totally allowed to bring their covid into nursing homes, just by filling out a dumb form saying you don’t have covid.

Dude, there’s a fucking worldwide pandemic that’s still going on. Yeah, your privileges and conveniences are getting trampled so that millions more aren’t dying. That is correct. You can’t hold large scale indoor events so that people aren’t dying en masse.

And ‘putting stuff in quotes’ still doesn’t make it a right.