I think it’s safe to assume this new variant is everywhere already. My phone has been beeping all morning with the BBC telling me where they’ve found new cases. And with the massive amount of Thanksgiving travel here in the US, there is no doubt in my mind that it’s here in the US, too.
But, massive props to the folks in South Africa who found it and found it so quickly. Theoretically, that should give us an edge, but it sounds like we’re already behind the curve, what with a lack of testing on travelers (I was shocked to hear “well, we tested after we found out there was a new variant” – I really thought testing for international travelers was still a thing worldwide) and not nearly enough sequencing here in the US. I do wonder how many variants actually originated here, but were “found” in other parts of the world. (I’m looking at you, Florida.)
And Boris Johnson is still saying it’s gonna be a great Christmas. And I’m sure we’ll hear the same nonsense out of Governors across the US. And we’ll have half the country taking it seriously and half the country continuing to do whatever the hell they want.
And I’ve got Frankie Drake Mysteries and they’re dealing with a potential outbreak of the Spanish Flu… Bit too on the nose, CBC.
I’m trying not to dwell on it, cause it doesn’t change anything for me – still gonna (not) do the same stuff, just for longer it seems – but yeah, I’m FAILING at not dwelling on it. I just wanted to think that maybe, possibly, the end was in sight. HAHAHAHA.
I know the best we can hope for is to move from pandemic to endemic and dealing with localized outbreaks – but I don’t even know how we get there given how mobile we all are worldwide. The first case identified as Omicron was from an 11/9 test and it wasn’t reported to the WHO as a variant until 11/24. Two weeks minimum of worldwide spread. While I have no doubt they told that person to quarantine, who knows how long they were contagious, and honestly, track and trace everywhere has been woefully inadequate. 30 flights a day just between Johannesburg and DC – just that alone is a ton of opportunity to get a virus halfway around the world. Now multiply that by ever other international flight out there…
I’m trying to stay optimistic that this isn’t going to be a forever thing, but damn, it’s REALLY FUCKING HARD RIGHT NOW.