Friday, stock markets tanked hard amid fears of more travel restrictions and lockdowns after a new COVID-19 variant was found in South Africa. It’s also popped up in Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel, but not in the US yet.
It’s been dubbed the Omicron variant (interestingly, the next letter in the Greek alphabet after the recent Nu variant is “Xi,” but since that’s also the name of the President of China, I guess it would be too politically incorrect to say that the China virus now has a Xi variant.)
Despite the panic mongers, there’s as yet no evidence that this variant is any more dangerous than what’s already circulating, or that it won’t be stopped by current vaccines and natural immunity. And Novavax says it’s already got a vaccine in trials that could be ready for manufacture in a few weeks.
This isn’t even unexpected: all viruses mutate as the potential host population dwindles; they usually become more transmissible but less dangerous. And South Africa has a very low vaccination rate, so this doesn’t mean the Xi (sorry, Omicron) variant can evade the vaccines. It hasn’t even been determined yet if this strain was responsible for the recent leap in cases in South Africa. Yahoo News has a good article explaining what we know about it so far, and considering all the hysteria, we actually know surprisingly little for certain.
Sure, this could be a new and terrifying threat, or it could be a last gasp of this disease that peters out in a couple of weeks. Pardon me if I decline to panic because I’ve lived through enough panics from our politicians and “health experts” who didn’t really understand what they were dealing with and who wanted to impose draconian policies that only made matters worse. For the first time in history, they quarantined the healthy while exposing the vulnerable to the disease in nursing homes; forced people to stay indoors (where the disease spreads easiest); and arguably caused more damage to more people’s mental, physical and economic health than the disease did.
In response to the new variant, President Biden met for a whole half hour Friday with his top medical advisors, who still include Dr. Anthony Fauci for some reason. I was willing to defer to Dr. Fauci early on, but he’s contradicted himself, pushed false narratives and put self-aggrandizement ahead of public safety too many times. I don’t understand why many people still think his prescriptions are handed down from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets. Our health officials and media have attacked, censored and tried to de-license actual doctors who are in the field treating COVID patients if what they report contradicts St. Fauci, a DC health bureaucrat who hasn’t treated a patient since he completed his residency in 1968.
And speaking of people who’ve been in Washington too long, President “I Will Shut Down The Virus,” not travel or the economy, announced that he was placing new travel restrictions on South Africa.
Funny how Trump’s shutting down travel from China was racism, but Biden shutting down travel from the predominantly black nation of South Africa is just prudent health policy.
Please note that I’m not saying he shouldn’t shut down travel from South Africa. I’m just saying that while he’s doing it, he should also publicly apologize to Trump for slandering him and being a big hypocrite. Since he also pushed for “global vaccination” without thanking Trump for overseeing the rapid development of vaccines he badmouthed before he started taking credit for them, he might throw in an apology for that, too. (This is why I couldn’t be a modern Democrat: my memory stretches back farther than yesterday.)
Unfortunately, hypocrisy, dishonesty and political opportunism are three Washington epidemics for which we’ve never been able to find a vaccine.