2022 was supposed to be the breakout year from the pandemic. In fact, I forecasted this back in March 2020. Oh so close. But hold on, now it’s Omicron and you have to admit, it’s a better name than Delta (I know Ed Bastian was not happy about this name) and certainly COVID-19.
While the CDC, WHO, scientists, Howard Stern, Biden, Alfred E. Neuman (what, me worry?), Fauci, Santa Claus and the rest of the experts decide what Omicron is all about, we know one thing for sure, it is yet another variant of the coronavirus disease. What makes this one so much worse is the speed at which is replicates; current vaccines are not as effective against it, and according to South African scientists, it could have evolved from a HIV-positive person. If this is true, we would have the first strain of the virus mutated from another disease. That could make it even more viral and difficult to contain.
Travel restrictions are already in place and more are coming. Biden and his team (which are now ranked dead last in the approval polls on handing the pandemic) want 24-hour testing before anyone enters the USA. They are even talking about getting testing within 72 hours after arriving. This would cripple international travel that was just starting to recover.
Then again if you don’t travel internationally, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the planet with nearly 8 billion people on it are no longer separated by continents and oceans because people travel effortlessly and pass on the virus to others at will. Unless you are locked in your home 24/7, there is always risk of infection.
Even before Omicron, Michigan was the leading state in the country for new virus transmissions. Our hospitals are at 80% occupancy and many are completely filled. What happens when Omicron is identified in Michigan? Did you happen to watch the OSU vs. UM game last Saturday and the sea of fans on the field, all without masks?
One thing we do know: Lockdowns are OUT. With the Supreme Court battling abortion rights, politicians know they cannot dictate lockdowns, vaccines and even masks unless the local/state government mandates it. And even then, good luck.
Now there will be a booster shot for Omicron. But where does it end? Does it end? Are the variants going to be like hurricanes, named each time one appears? Hurricanes are here each and every year, will the coronavirus be just like hurricanes? The answer most likely is yes, at least through 2030.
2022 is going to start off very interesting based on the facts gathered over the next few weeks about Omicron. I can see indoor mask mandates effective through the winter especially in public buildings and large event areas like stadiums. But as far as the end of the pandemic is concerned, we are in for the long haul. The USA is 60% vaccinated and until it hits at least 80%, the virus will continue to win the battle.
In the meantime, the need for masks, gloves and other essentials will increase and you can be rest assured TNG is fully stocked (for the moment). I just learned that Biden did not extend the tariff exemption on nitrile gloves which is shocking because you cannot legally manufacture them in the USA. This will add 25% to costs overnight. This is total bullshit and hopefully someone with two cents will override this decision. Then again, when was the last time two cents was worth anything?