Monday, 6 December 2021

Omicron: latest data “looking good” | Dr John Campbell


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I’ve only just come across Dr John Campbell, not sure why I’ve missed him so far. He does a daily update on Covid, straightforward, calm, informed and informative. 

He shows why there’s some hope that the Omicron variety of Covid might be good news for us: hugely contagious, but not too lethal => Herd immunity. Cross fingers.

ADDED: I’ve just watched BBC World Service reporting in Omicron and there’s not a single mention of the results coming out of South Africa. Odd, given that SA is where it started, where it’s three weeks ahead of the rest of us and where the virologists and epidemiologists are well-regarded. And where the early results, as Dr Campbell notes, are “looking good”. Instead the Beebs is in “best-to-panic-while-we’re-unsure” mode. Remaining unsure by not looking at freely-available evidence. And looping (loopy?) warnings from Sarah Gilbert that a future pandemic could be “even worse”. Then again, maybe not. Or maybe that rogue asteroid might hit us. Sigh…

LATER: Gilbert is professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, one of the inventors of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. She urges more investment in scientific research to prevent the next pandemic. Which is fair enough. 

Two notes: 

(1) There was plenty of preparation and planning for the current pandemic (in UK, US and Australia, that I know of), but it was all jettisoned when Covid struck. Plans and strategies didn’t survive reality. 

(2) It’s still not settled if SARS-Cov-2 has natural, zoonotic origin, or if it leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology during Gain-of-function research. If it did leak from the lab, then clearly there needs to be stricter control over such research. The sort of research Professor Gilbert is pushing for. This issue ought really be addressed by the likes of professor Gilbert and her colleagues, even if it’s uncomfortable. (Because, you know, China)