Omicron variant concerns

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-59426277

[edited quote]
A “variant of concern” is the World Health Organization’s top category of worrying Covid variants.

The decision adds weight to the mounting scientific worry about the potential of this new variant, but it doesn’t change any of the facts.

The variant has an astounding collection of mutations that are thought to increase its ability to spread and bypass some, but not all, of the protection from vaccines.

However, we still don’t have clear real-world data.

We don’t know for sure whether it spreads faster, makes vaccines or drugs less effective or whether it leads to more severe disease.
[/quote]

I'm also concerned that those mutations might confer the ability to be transmitted from surfaces more as opposed to the current variants being passed on by mainly air-borne means. That would turn the clocks back to April, 2020.


PeterWick said:

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-59426277

[edited quote]
A “variant of concern” is the World Health Organization’s top category of worrying Covid variants.

The decision adds weight to the mounting scientific worry about the potential of this new variant, but it doesn’t change any of the facts.

The variant has an astounding collection of mutations that are thought to increase its ability to spread and bypass some, but not all, of the protection from vaccines.

However, we still don’t have clear real-world data.

We don’t know for sure whether it spreads faster, makes vaccines or drugs less effective or whether it leads to more severe disease.
[/quote]

I'm also concerned that those mutations might confer the ability to be transmitted from surfaces more as opposed to the current variants being passed on by mainly air-borne means. That would turn the clocks back to April, 2020.

no one is talking about surfaces or turning the clock back yet. As a matter of fact, Scott Gottlieb believes we have good vaccines and antivirals to fight the new strain. He also believes we have the technology to shift vaccine production quickly to meet the new variants If required. I don’t think you should be attempting to panic people with unfounded info such as surfaces. No experts are indicating that and I don’t believe anyone here qualifies as an expert. 





I'm reporting the news from this morning. It hasn't spread in large numbers yet, but Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong are pretty far from the southern part of Africa. Last time I checked anyway and air travel has returned to rates similar to late 2019. There are significant risks.

Perhaps you don't understand the nuances of English. There's that word I used, might, indicating that it hasn't happened yet but that there is the possibility. For someone who can use qualifying words and phrases, it is curious that you do not recognize them in others’ statements.

The delta variant quickly took hold across the globe with some unexpected transmission capabilities. The omicron variant may also gain unexpected functions due to its novel mutations. The phrase "variant of concern" is warranted since they have been able to study the mRNA sequence of this new variant can see the multiple ways it has changed.

I was expressing a worry that this variant that has many new and unexpected mutations outside of the delta lineage may have unexpected behaviors. One such problem would be surface viability. I hope not but the implications of that change would be problematic.

You’re correct to point out the advances made in mRNA-based vaccines that make producing new versions much more quickly are something to put our hopes in. It’s too bad we cannot get more of the people in the world protected with the vaccines we currently have. If that were the case, the chances of new variants emerging would be reduced.

Again, I trust people to actually read what I wrote, clearly separated from the quote from the article.


they've said other variants were particularly concerning...but then that fizzled out.  they say they should have an educated guess on whether current vaccines work in about 2 weeks.


PeterWick said:

I'm reporting the news from this morning. It hasn't spread in large numbers yet, but Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong are pretty far from the southern part of Africa. Last time I checked anyway and air travel has returned to rates similar to late 2019. There are significant risks.

Perhaps you don't understand the nuances of English. There's that word I used, might, indicating that it hasn't happened yet but that there is the possibility. For someone who can use qualifying words and phrases, it is curious that you do not recognize them in others’ statements.

The delta variant quickly took hold across the globe with some unexpected transmission capabilities. The omicron variant may also gain unexpected functions due to its novel mutations. The phrase "variant of concern" is warranted since they have been able to study the mRNA sequence of this new variant can see the multiple ways it has changed.

I was expressing a worry that this variant that has many new and unexpected mutations outside of the delta lineage may have unexpected behaviors. One such problem would be surface viability. I hope not but the implications of that change would be problematic.

You’re correct to point out the advances made in mRNA-based vaccines that make producing new versions much more quickly are something to put our hopes in. It’s too bad we cannot get more of the people in the world protected with the vaccines we currently have. If that were the case, the chances of new variants emerging would be reduced.

Again, I trust people to actually read what I wrote, clearly separated from the quote from the article.

as I said, this is not a story for you to play reporter on. It’s too serious a subject.  Just Copy and paste your findings.  Don’t interpret them. 


What's known so far in Hong Kong is that the people infected with the new variant coming from ZA didn't make it into the general population.  They went from the airport to the guarded quarantine hotel.  I think they've since been moved to a hospital for close monitoring.  


Redfruit said:

PeterWick said:

I'm reporting the news from this morning. It hasn't spread in large numbers yet, but Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong are pretty far from the southern part of Africa. Last time I checked anyway and air travel has returned to rates similar to late 2019. There are significant risks.

Perhaps you don't understand the nuances of English. There's that word I used, might, indicating that it hasn't happened yet but that there is the possibility. For someone who can use qualifying words and phrases, it is curious that you do not recognize them in others’ statements.

The delta variant quickly took hold across the globe with some unexpected transmission capabilities. The omicron variant may also gain unexpected functions due to its novel mutations. The phrase "variant of concern" is warranted since they have been able to study the mRNA sequence of this new variant can see the multiple ways it has changed.

I was expressing a worry that this variant that has many new and unexpected mutations outside of the delta lineage may have unexpected behaviors. One such problem would be surface viability. I hope not but the implications of that change would be problematic.

You’re correct to point out the advances made in mRNA-based vaccines that make producing new versions much more quickly are something to put our hopes in. It’s too bad we cannot get more of the people in the world protected with the vaccines we currently have. If that were the case, the chances of new variants emerging would be reduced.

Again, I trust people to actually read what I wrote, clearly separated from the quote from the article.

as I said, this is not a story for you to play reporter on. It’s too serious a subject.  Just Copy and paste your findings.  Don’t interpret them. 

you do realize that most of the OP was actually a quote from another source, right?


drummerboy said:

Redfruit said:

PeterWick said:

I'm reporting the news from this morning. It hasn't spread in large numbers yet, but Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong are pretty far from the southern part of Africa. Last time I checked anyway and air travel has returned to rates similar to late 2019. There are significant risks.

Perhaps you don't understand the nuances of English. There's that word I used, might, indicating that it hasn't happened yet but that there is the possibility. For someone who can use qualifying words and phrases, it is curious that you do not recognize them in others’ statements.

The delta variant quickly took hold across the globe with some unexpected transmission capabilities. The omicron variant may also gain unexpected functions due to its novel mutations. The phrase "variant of concern" is warranted since they have been able to study the mRNA sequence of this new variant can see the multiple ways it has changed.

I was expressing a worry that this variant that has many new and unexpected mutations outside of the delta lineage may have unexpected behaviors. One such problem would be surface viability. I hope not but the implications of that change would be problematic.

You’re correct to point out the advances made in mRNA-based vaccines that make producing new versions much more quickly are something to put our hopes in. It’s too bad we cannot get more of the people in the world protected with the vaccines we currently have. If that were the case, the chances of new variants emerging would be reduced.

Again, I trust people to actually read what I wrote, clearly separated from the quote from the article.

as I said, this is not a story for you to play reporter on. It’s too serious a subject.  Just Copy and paste your findings.  Don’t interpret them. 

you do realize that most of the OP was actually a quote from another source, right?

you do realize he added his own analysis too. 


dave said:

What's known so far in Hong Kong is that the people infected with the new variant coming from ZA didn't make it into the general population.  They went from the airport to the guarded quarantine hotel.  I think they've since been moved to a hospital for close monitoring.  

That would be much more reassuring if the US had equivalent safeguards, or levels of sequencing to know strains. 


Redfruit said:

drummerboy said:

Redfruit said:

PeterWick said:

I'm reporting the news from this morning. It hasn't spread in large numbers yet, but Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong are pretty far from the southern part of Africa. Last time I checked anyway and air travel has returned to rates similar to late 2019. There are significant risks.

Perhaps you don't understand the nuances of English. There's that word I used, might, indicating that it hasn't happened yet but that there is the possibility. For someone who can use qualifying words and phrases, it is curious that you do not recognize them in others’ statements.

The delta variant quickly took hold across the globe with some unexpected transmission capabilities. The omicron variant may also gain unexpected functions due to its novel mutations. The phrase "variant of concern" is warranted since they have been able to study the mRNA sequence of this new variant can see the multiple ways it has changed.

I was expressing a worry that this variant that has many new and unexpected mutations outside of the delta lineage may have unexpected behaviors. One such problem would be surface viability. I hope not but the implications of that change would be problematic.

You’re correct to point out the advances made in mRNA-based vaccines that make producing new versions much more quickly are something to put our hopes in. It’s too bad we cannot get more of the people in the world protected with the vaccines we currently have. If that were the case, the chances of new variants emerging would be reduced.

Again, I trust people to actually read what I wrote, clearly separated from the quote from the article.

as I said, this is not a story for you to play reporter on. It’s too serious a subject.  Just Copy and paste your findings.  Don’t interpret them. 

you do realize that most of the OP was actually a quote from another source, right?

you do realize he added his own analysis too. 

he added one thing. whoopee.


While the work for my doctorate focused on the Ca2+-dependent mechanism behind regulated secretory granule release and my postdoctoral fellowship was spent studying the role of the dopamine D4 receptor in a model of schizophrenia, I do have sufficient background to comment on this line of work. At the very least, I have the background necessary to make responsible commentary on scientific reports.

It isn't just neuroscience where I'm conversant. I have experience lecturing in clinical pharmacology. I also have clinical pharmacotherapeutic practice experience, particularly in the elderly and those with long-term health conditions. To round out my toolset, I'm now learning about those issues from a social worker's point of view, with a focus on assisting those in the brain injury survivor community,

During this COVID experience, I opted to switch to using my real name here, especially since I found myself engaging in discussions about it all. I stand by the comments I make with my name, not an alias. I've worked in the public health efforts to combat COVID-19 in 3 different capacities. My comments about the potential hazards the omicron variant may present harkened back to the troubles we had adjusting to having to cut back on so much of our everyday activities in the late-winter-spring of 2020. We didn't truly know then how COVID-19 behaved so making tremendous efforts to clean surfaces as well as wearing masks (if you could find them) was vital until we had more scientific knowledge.

I really do hope I'm wrong about the possible challenges (and I only mentioned one) the many new mutations in the omicron variant could bring. I hope it doesn't spread like the delta variant has but travel has opened back up and that may have allowed this variant to spread. As Dave mentioned, the authorities made a strong move to isolate people carrying it. Let's hope similar efforts are taken with an abundance of caution to curtail omicron's possible threat.

And what was it you said, redfruit, when someone had a witty remark?

Don't hurt yourself.


PeterWick said:

While the work for my doctorate focused on the Ca2+-dependent mechanism behind regulated secretory granule release and my postdoctoral fellowship was spent studying the role of the dopamine D4 receptor in a model of schizophrenia, I do have sufficient background to comment on this line of work. At the very least, I have the background necessary to make responsible commentary on scientific reports.

It isn't just neuroscience where I'm conversant. I have experience lecturing in clinical pharmacology. I also have clinical pharmacotherapeutic practice experience, particularly in the elderly and those with long-term health conditions. To round out my toolset, I'm now learning about those issues from a social worker's point of view, with a focus on assisting those in the brain injury survivor community,

During this COVID experience, I opted to switch to using my real name here, especially since I found myself engaging in discussions about it all. I stand by the comments I make with my name, not an alias. I've worked in the public health efforts to combat COVID-19 in 3 different capacities. My comments about the potential hazards the omicron variant may present harkened back to the troubles we had adjusting to having to cut back on so much of our everyday activities in the late-winter-spring of 2020. We didn't truly know then how COVID-19 behaved so making tremendous efforts to clean surfaces as well as wearing masks (if you could find them) was vital until we had more scientific knowledge.

I really do hope I'm wrong about the possible challenges (and I only mentioned one) the many new mutations in the omicron variant could bring. I hope it doesn't spread like the delta variant has but travel has opened back up and that may have allowed this variant to spread. As Dave mentioned, the authorities made a strong move to isolate people carrying it. Let's hope similar efforts are taken with an abundance of caution to curtail omicron's possible threat.

And what was it you said, redfruit, when someone had a witty remark?

Don't hurt yourself.

and the last time I saw you, You were working at Home Depot. 


We’d just opened our borders barely a week ago - and we’re now slowly closing down again

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-27/new-quarantine-rules-omicron-covid-variant-australia/100656016

Medi-hotels, supervised home quarantines, cancelled flights & visas, the works. 


Redfruit said:

and the last time I saw you, You were working at Home Depot. 

That stopped in 2019. The coursework and other academic activities at Seton Hall took too much of my time. Keep up.


joanne said:

We’d just opened our borders barely a week ago - and we’re now slowly closing down again

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-27/new-quarantine-rules-omicron-covid-variant-australia/100656016

Medi-hotels, supervised home quarantines, cancelled flights & visas, the works. 

It really is frustrating. I get it. It hurts but I hope such measures can thwart its spread while we get more of the population vaccinated. Hopefully vaccinated individuals won't have significant morbidity from it but it is better to take action rather than wait for the clinical data to catch up. We've already seen this movie a couple times befoe.


Thank you Peter Wick for all your knowledge. MOL is lucky to have you as a contributor.


PeterWick said:

Redfruit said:

and the last time I saw you, You were working at Home Depot. 

That stopped in 2019. The coursework and other academic activities at Seton Hall took too much of my time. Keep up.

who knows with you. You seem to make stuff up. Hope you’re being honest this time. 


galileo said:

Thank you Peter Wick for all your knowledge. MOL is lucky to have you as a contributor.

Thank you. I wish I had better things than this to talk about. Occasionally I do find opportunities elsewhere on MOL but I get too worked up if I spend much time in some spots. At least I've managed to stay politics-free for the most part.

I was away from MOL for quite a bit after 2014. Coming back to the land of the living after a traumatic brain injury isn't easy. I've been unfathomably lucky in so many ways. However, a guy in his late 50's isn't going to be hired in any scientific or computer technology realm after so many years out of the job market but I tried to find something once I was doing well in my rehab job at HD. Nope. So instead of just continuing to volunteer, I decided to see if I could get a professional credential and get back to meaningful work.


TBI here, now in my mid-60s and my injury hasn’t really changed in over 30years - what has changed is how I’ve learned to live with the limitations (so much so that my last boss accused me of lying about having a brain injury, which my neuropsych could notice almost immediately). 
Redfruit, I’m not sure what the employment situation is like there - here we have extremely highly educated people driving trucks and share-hire vehicles because there isn’t much reliable work around. Don’t judge books by their covers. 
Peter, as someone with a couple of autoimmune conditions of concern plus the breast cancer (now hopefully in remission), I’m grateful for your explanations and posts. You keep me from anaphylaxis or worse cheese


PeterWick said:

I've been unfathomably lucky in so many ways.

Not only that, you succeed at being interesting.


Wait! What? Seriously, I even left out the Anna joke.

joanne said:

You keep me from anaphylaxis or worse
cheese


DaveSchmidt said:

PeterWick said:

I've been unfathomably lucky in so many ways.

Not only that, you succeed at being interesting.

it’s sweet that your coming to Peter’s defense but you’re not exactly a guy who gets interesting. 


I find it odd that this guy is trying to make this thread a place for his attempts at schoolyard sass.


it says ""We continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and
while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State,
it's coming," Hochul said"


PeterWick said:

Well crap...

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/omicron-variant-ny-declares-state-of-emergency-ahead-of-potential-spike/3421297/

you first wrote that it appears the new strain is here but edited your comment after you actually read the article where it says:

“no cases of the newly identified variant have been detected in New York or the rest of the United States, for that matter.”

Thank you for correcting your mistake. 


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/26/health/omicron-variant-vaccines.html

We may still be protected by the vaccines, but as mentioned before, producing new vaccine boosters to cover different variants should they become serious new threats is going to be easier.

The delivery system is much better and refined. The main problems going forward will be determining how best to attack new variants. Finding the most important domains of the new version of the spike protein may not be as easy as it was for the early COVID-19 strains. Anyway, once that is done, splicing in the new mRNA recipe shouldn't be difficult and then it's off to the clinical trials.

Edited to add -

This article has kind of a whip saw effect. Some scenarios are dire but they also point out other, less worrisome explanations. I like that closing paragraph with that guy taking down on the notion of a magic virus coming to get us.

To add another thought. That one note about mutations in the furin cleavage site is why I am anxious to see if it has a different/better ability to bind surfaces other than cell  membranes. 


Yeah, I saw that after reading another article on Belgium. I got the two reports mixed. Posted too soon, but went back and checked.


Redfruit said:

it’s sweet that your coming to Peter’s defense but you’re not exactly a guy who gets interesting. 

I think I get it now... you don't think of research, intelligent conversation, or word play as particularly interesting. Well, some others do.



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