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Well it's got a name now.

Case numbers are still tiny and there's not much information about levels of illness or mortality.

Maybe this one will be friendlier (more transmissible, less deadly) 

We can hope.

(but we've only got ourselves to blame)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for calm as the new Omicron coronavirus strain causes international borders to slam shut and global financial markets to plunge.

Key points:

  • The WHO said it will take "a few weeks" to understand the full impact of Omicron
  • Scientists fear current vaccines will not be effective against new strain
  • Global stocks plummeted upon news of the Omicron variant 

Dozens of countries have closed their borders to South Africa and its neighbouring countries, where the variant was first found.

Scientists said it could take weeks to fully understand the variant's mutations and whether existing vaccines and treatments would work against it.

"Early analysis shows that this variant has a large number of mutations, that will require us to undergo further study," the WHO's Christian Lindmeier said.

"It will take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-27/omicron-covid-19-borders-vaccines-mutant/100655742

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However the spread of the new strain of mental illness that has infected roughly 40% of Americans could be called the ‘Donald variant’. 

more bullshit from lying WHO and press, just in time for Christmas.

Well done Sluggo. Idiot post of the year. 

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May as well start with WHO's news

https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus. The TAG-VE was convened on 26 November 2021 to assess the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529.

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

There are a number of studies underway and the TAG-VE will continue to evaluate this variant. WHO will communicate new findings with Member States and to the public as needed.

Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron.

As such, countries are asked to do the following:

  • enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database, such as GISAID.
  • report initial cases/clusters associated with VOC infection to WHO through the IHR mechanism.
  • where capacity exists and in coordination with the international community, perform field investigations and laboratory assessments to improve understanding of the potential impacts of the VOC on COVID-19 epidemiology, severity, effectiveness of public health and social measures, diagnostic methods, immune responses, antibody neutralization, or other relevant characteristics.

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.

For reference, WHO has working definitions for SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Interest (VOI) and Variant of Concern (VOC).

A SARS-CoV-2 VOI is a SARS-CoV-2 variant:

  • with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; AND
  • that has been identified as causing significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health. 

A SARS-CoV-2 VOC is a SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see above) and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:

  • increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
  • increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
  • decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics

 

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Sucks, let's just hope it causes less serious disease. The rise in cases this week in South Africa is beyond exponential, from a couple hundred to a couple thousand and surely will skyrocket from there. Too soon to tell how serious disease it will cause, and since most South Africans remain unvaccinated, might take a while to tell if can infect vaccinated folk even more easily than Delta. But the data are telling that it (B.1.1.529 here) is already eliminating Delta, witness this graph of sequenced viral samples. In ten days it has gone from nothing to over 75%. I am scheduled to fly there Friday, and while Delta Airlines promises to continue service to Johannesburg from Atlanta, that might be hard to sustain after Monday when only US citizens and residents will be able to fly back to USA, so I'm trying to change my ticket to Wednesday or even Sunday.

1439747450_ScreenShot2021-11-26at5_35_41PM.thumb.png.d67bec929207558a5c06db74fdafc334.png

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Luckily this variant exhibit S-gene dropout in the standard PCR tests that amplify regions of the S gene and two other genes. As a result it can be easily tracked without having to do full genome sequencing, and already almost all cases in South Africa are this new Omicron variant by this criterion. I'm surprised other countries are not checking their PCR results to look for this feature, as this variant has surely already spread widely.

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3 hours ago, TheDragon said:

Luckily this variant exhibit S-gene dropout in the standard PCR tests that amplify regions of the S gene and two other genes. As a result it can be easily tracked without having to do full genome sequencing, and already almost all cases in South Africa are this new Omicron variant by this criterion. I'm surprised other countries are not checking their PCR results to look for this feature, as this variant has surely already spread widely.

Yes, it is surprising that countries are limiting entry from certain places.  That didn't work last year, and has almost no hope this year.  Small countries like New Zealand  with few entry points might benefit from such a strategy but most countries need not bother.

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1 hour ago, Rain Man said:

Yes, it is surprising that countries are limiting entry from certain places.  That didn't work last year, and has almost no hope this year.  Small countries like New Zealand  with few entry points might benefit from such a strategy but most countries need not bother.

that was my first thought when reading the stories too.  Its already been dedicated in Europe, the Middle east and Asia.  Too late to close the barn door kids.

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It buys time. Assuming it's not already here, this step could provide an extra month or two before it (inevitably) gets established here. With mRNA vaccines (that can be re-designed quickly), that extra time could be the difference between a manageable wave and a catastrophe.

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

It buys time. Assuming it's not already here, this step could provide an extra month or two before it (inevitably) gets established here. With mRNA vaccines (that can be re-designed quickly), that extra time could be the difference between a manageable wave and a catastrophe.

Nah. We are all pretty fucked if this gets hold IMHO.

What bought us time was sensible people taking sensible precautions and sensible governments implementing harsh restrictions. We should have used that time vaccinating the world.

People are too weary of it all to go there again and Governments too fearful of smashing their economies and the polls.

Best we can hope is that the numerous vaccines provide some protection and that the mutations don't cause even nastier effects.

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6 hours ago, TheDragon said:

I am scheduled to fly there Friday, and while Delta Airlines promises to continue service to Johannesburg from Atlanta, that might be hard to sustain after Monday when only US citizens and residents will be able to fly back to USA, so I'm trying to change my ticket to Wednesday or even Sunday.

Just hope your Gov doesn't opt for the Aussie option to buy time and lock you out. 

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it's not known what this variant is yet

it can be any of 3

worse in that it's even more deadly ../  has the same as most others .. or /  a savior in that it does little else than further inoculate the infected against the others

 

sort of a vaccination for the anti vaxxers

 

if it's the last i would open the borders and welcome it in .. there will be that variant sooner or latter

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8 minutes ago, phill_nz said:

it's not known what this variant is yet

it can be any of 3

worse in that it's even more deadly ../  has the same as most others .. or /  a savior in that it does little else than further inoculate the infected against the others

 

sort of a vaccination for the anti vaxxers

 

if it's the last i would open the borders and welcome it in .. there will be that variant sooner or latter

Yes, far too early to tell, but the rumour mill has already chosen the first.  I would expect the stock market to react quite violently on Monday. 

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

What is wrong with epsilon? Omnicron is hard to say

Nothing but a variant was named "epsilon" back in July. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/epsilon-variant-covid-california-explainer-b1878909.html

The next Greek letter for allocation was "Nu". WHO decided not to use it as everyone confused it with "New".

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And just to clarify it is spelled Omicron, even though Omnicron sounds more appropriate for a virus that might infect everyone on the planet, vaccinated or not.

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8 hours ago, ShortForBob said:

Just hope your Gov doesn't opt for the Aussie option to buy time and lock you out. 

I don't think we can bar entry to citizens and green card holders or their families. Not sure exactly why but none of the entry restrictions ever have applied to same. Hence ineffective. 

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12 minutes ago, NeedAClew said:

I don't think we can bar entry to citizens and green card holders or their families. Not sure exactly why but none of the entry restrictions ever have applied to same. Hence ineffective. 

we didn't either.

Executive orders seem popular.

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32 minutes ago, ShortForBob said:

we didn't either.

Executive orders seem popular.

But you had quarantine. We did that for Wuhan evacuees and maybe a cruise ship  iirc but not after the first month of covid. I think it's a Constitution thing here. EO on entry can't supercede that.

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There is a quirk about Omicron -

Because of the high number of mutations and the increased transmissibility, the prevailing wisdom is that it baked in one host for a while.  Specifically, the belief is that patient zero was probably someone with HIV, probably not under treatment, and that the virus had a number of generations to percolate and build up its efficacy in terms of transmission.

However - there is a side effect of that mechanism.  The lethality of the disease - given that it was in an immune compromised individual - might also be reduced.  If the COVID strain patient zero had was highly adaptive to their cells AND it didn't kill them, then it probably isn't as aggressive in terms of cellular damage.

How do we know they didn't die?  We don't - but given the reproduction rate of the other variants, if Omicron was as prolific, then an immune compromised individual would likely have been overwhelmed quickly and wouldn't survive a prolonged the incubation.

This is all piecemeal at this point based on a very small sample size - but highly transmissible + really long incubation suggests its evolving toward the 'spread' rather than 'kill' endgame.

Or, because of limited data, this is all bullocks.

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I like the argument, however the same argument was made for the origin of the alpha and delta variants, and they seem to generally cause as serious disease as the original strain. I'd love to think that Omicron is one more evolutionary step towards a more contagious virus (which it abundantly clearly is), that causes less serious disease. Fingers crossed as I am booked to fly to SA tomorrow for 2-3 months of kitesurfing and hiking instead of spending yet another winter in the cold hinterland of the USA. If the above is true, and the ability to evade vaccination-gained immunity is true, then I wager that everyone, vaccinated or not, will get this variant so I anticipate it happening sooner rather than later when I get to SA. Triple vaccinated should help me deal with it a little better.

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8 hours ago, NeedAClew said:

I don't think we can bar entry to citizens and green card holders or their families. Not sure exactly why but none of the entry restrictions ever have applied to same. Hence ineffective. 

Sure we can. Quarantine for disease is always legal.

- DSK

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6 hours ago, BeSafe said:

There is a quirk about Omicron -

Because of the high number of mutations and the increased transmissibility, the prevailing wisdom is that it baked in one host for a while.  Specifically, the belief is that patient zero was probably someone with HIV, probably not under treatment, and that the virus had a number of generations to percolate and build up its efficacy in terms of transmission.

However - there is a side effect of that mechanism.  The lethality of the disease - given that it was in an immune compromised individual - might also be reduced.  If the COVID strain patient zero had was highly adaptive to their cells AND it didn't kill them, then it probably isn't as aggressive in terms of cellular damage.

How do we know they didn't die?  We don't - but given the reproduction rate of the other variants, if Omicron was as prolific, then an immune compromised individual would likely have been overwhelmed quickly and wouldn't survive a prolonged the incubation.

This is all piecemeal at this point based on a very small sample size - but highly transmissible + really long incubation suggests its evolving toward the 'spread' rather than 'kill' endgame.

Or, because of limited data, this is all bullocks.

Let's try to keep this one out of the realms of misinformation, rumor and gossip.

Link your posts please.

Otherwise we'll have the usual suspects blaming Gays.<_< 

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49 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

I like the argument, however the same argument was made for the origin of the alpha and delta variants, and they seem to generally cause as serious disease as the original strain. I'd love to think that Omicron is one more evolutionary step towards a more contagious virus (which it abundantly clearly is), that causes less serious disease. Fingers crossed as I am booked to fly to SA tomorrow for 2-3 months of kitesurfing and hiking instead of spending yet another winter in the cold hinterland of the USA. If the above is true, and the ability to evade vaccination-gained immunity is true, then I wager that everyone, vaccinated or not, will get this variant so I anticipate it happening sooner rather than later when I get to SA. Triple vaccinated should help me deal with it a little better.

Seriously? Painful as it may be, I'd be rescheduling even by just a few weeks until we get more reliable info.

My heart tells me, bugger it, i'm off to Greece next year regardless. My head is telling me I may have to change plans again.

I don't want to be somewhere with a tiny and under resourced hospital system out in the backblocks if a new under studied pandemic is raging. For my health and others needing care. We know how fast things can change.

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Just now, d&#x27;ranger said:

Don't ne so Grumpy...  oh, wait, nevermind.

You can fuck right off as well Texas pussy. You're a squealer, lagger, fucking hall monitor bitch.

Go on then, fuck the fuck right off. Go cry to the editor soft cock.

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Geez, someone is Uber Grumpy.  I have reported a couple of people over the years, you weren't on that very short list so don't flatter yourself ya dumpy fuker.  The reports I made were for very obvious violations, I have never found you to be anything more than a Dopey Grumpy Dwarf. 

Have a Nice Day!

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40 minutes ago, d&#x27;ranger said:

Geez, someone is Uber Grumpy.  I have reported a couple of people over the years, you weren't on that very short list so don't flatter yourself ya dumpy fuker.  The reports I made were for very obvious violations, I have never found you to be anything more than a Dopey Grumpy Dwarf. 

Have a Nice Day!

Fuck you, pussy. Keep fucking the fuck off away from me. I don't care why or who you dobbed in, you're a squealler bitch regardless.

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1 hour ago, 00seven said:

Fuck you, pussy. Keep fucking the fuck off away from me. I don't care why or who you dobbed in, you're a squealler bitch regardless.

Being a returd is a tough gig. Good thing you are such a tough typer.  Try to get something for that butthurt thing.

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5 hours ago, TheDragon said:

I like the argument, however the same argument was made for the origin of the alpha and delta variants, and they seem to generally cause as serious disease as the original strain. I'd love to think that Omicron is one more evolutionary step towards a more contagious virus (which it abundantly clearly is), that causes less serious disease. Fingers crossed as I am booked to fly to SA tomorrow for 2-3 months of kitesurfing and hiking instead of spending yet another winter in the cold hinterland of the USA. If the above is true, and the ability to evade vaccination-gained immunity is true, then I wager that everyone, vaccinated or not, will get this variant so I anticipate it happening sooner rather than later when I get to SA. Triple vaccinated should help me deal with it a little better.

Delta will let you postpone.

The wind, waves and Drakensberg are not going anywhere.

 

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14 hours ago, NeedAClew said:

I don't think we can bar entry to citizens and green card holders or their families. Not sure exactly why but none of the entry restrictions ever have applied to same. Hence ineffective. 

You are partially correct.

The Federal Government (and subsequently the CDC) have enormous and broad powers of quarantine for infectious disease which go back over a hundred years. They can quarantine an entire flight or all arrivals from a certain destination. That is not quite the same as banning entry.

The powers of the CDC to enforce an executive order to ban entry are contained in US Code Title 42 The Public Health and Welfare.  Chapter 1  Part 71.40.

§ 71.40 Suspension of the right to introduce and prohibition of the introduction of persons into the United States from designated foreign countries or places for public health purposes.

An executive order from the Director of the CDC or the President can pretty much shut down travel from any country at extremely short notice , with one notable exception.

71.40 (f)This section shall not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents.

Which means that if Dragon comes back from RSA, with his mouth foaming and blood coming out of his ears, we cannot stop him coming home....but we can take him straight off the plane and lock him up in one of our quarantine facilities (which exist at most ports.....I hear that Newark is particularly unpleasant)  and turn that flight around before it docks at the gate and send it right back where it came from. 

But we dont use these measures.

During this pandemic, the CDC has been defanged.  It has incredible power on paper to act during a pandemic.  Their legal powers enable them to act fast and get permission later. The Director of the CDC  can ban arrivals from a country without consulting other federal agencies provided they consult the other agencies as soon as reasonably possible and review the decision with the administration at least within 72 hours of acting. Yet they never used any of these powers. I dont know whether it was weak leadership or an organization that has lost credibility and become overly dependent on their political patronage but the CDC which was formed to deal with crisis such as this has been a follower not a leader.  The whole point of the CDC was that they should be very skilled at anticipating communicable disease problems and act quickly without all the bureaucratic red tape that slows down the rest of Washington.

Obviously I hope nothing happens to Dragon and I wish him many happy hours of kite boarding.

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Thanks IP and Eye. Well the dice are thrown, I'm on my way. Hoping that two-three months from now I have no issue with returning. The clock is ticking for me and I missed last season in Cape Town due to both covid and shoulder surgery. I probably have five more years of really active kitesurfing and sailing in me, given my arthritic fingers, shoulder issues, and age. Plus I have other things I need to take care of in South Africa, finances, car, flat, etc. Fingers crossed Omicron is not that bad and my boosted vaccination holds up reasonably well. But it does leave our family spread out between Seattle, Wyoming, Illinois, and now Cape Town, which is always a little unsettling.

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On 11/27/2021 at 12:10 AM, dogwatch said:

Nothing but a variant was named "epsilon" back in July. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/epsilon-variant-covid-california-explainer-b1878909.html

The next Greek letter for allocation was "Nu". WHO decided not to use it as everyone confused it with "New".

Search Google for meaning of ‘nu’ (as spoken) in Chinese, and it gets a bit more interesting, depending on which tone.  WHO also avoided the next Greek letter after ‘nu’ for political reasons related to the PRC, maybe using nu = new as a fig leaf? (Omicron is a new variant, after all)  Whataboutism again? Or a new gunslinger in town?  Anyway, definitions that pop up:

Anger

Slave 

Woman

IPLore elegantly pointed out the political realities of the CDC- WHO’s no different.  Consider the world wide reaction to AIDS.  

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Mid said:

I get why Xi was skipped. I dont think I would be too thrilled if virus variants were named after American presidents (although I would be open to naming virus variants after the New York Yankees roster : Aaron, Britton, Cole, DJ, etc  ).

But what happened to Zeta, Eta Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lamda and Mu?

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1 hour ago, TheDragon said:

Thanks IP and Eye. Well the dice are thrown, I'm on my way. Hoping that two-three months from now I have no issue with returning. The clock is ticking for me and I missed last season in Cape Town due to both covid and shoulder surgery. I probably have five more years of really active kitesurfing and sailing in me, given my arthritic fingers, shoulder issues, and age. Plus I have other things I need to take care of in South Africa, finances, car, flat, etc. Fingers crossed Omicron is not that bad and my boosted vaccination holds up reasonably well. But it does leave our family spread out between Seattle, Wyoming, Illinois, and now Cape Town, which is always a little unsettling.

Safe travels!

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On 11/26/2021 at 2:55 PM, ShortForBob said:

Well it's got a name now.

 

Yeah. Omicron. "Ο" Probably the worst Greek letter in the whole Greek alphabet. Couldn't they have just skipped straight to pi or something? Also, since the symbol for omicron looks exactly like a roman "O" they have no choice but to spell it out in full. Stupid. If they were going strictly in order that would be fine. But they skipped that stupid "squiggle" letter (which I am glad of because I have always called it "squiggle") so they could have just skipped omicron as well.

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6 hours ago, Amati said:

Search Google for meaning of ‘nu’ (as spoken) in Chinese, and it gets a bit more interesting, depending on which tone.  WHO also avoided the next Greek letter after ‘nu’ for political reasons related to the PRC, maybe using nu = new as a fig leaf? (Omicron is a new variant, after all)  Whataboutism again? Or a new gunslinger in town?  Anyway, definitions that pop up:

Anger

Slave 

Woman

IPLore elegantly pointed out the political realities of the CDC- WHO’s no different.  Consider the world wide reaction to AIDS.  

 

 

 

So what happened to  Ζ ζ, Η η, Θ θ, Ι ι, Κ κ, Λ λ, Μ μ, Ν ν, Ξ ξ,

Zeta, theta, kappa, lamtha (sp) are not hard to pronounce.

And it's ni not nu.

 

 

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O(fubar!). Nice. Once again an international expert committee of committee experts comes to the rescue in the nick of time!

"These labels were chosen after wide consultation and a review of many potential naming systems. WHO convened an expert group of partners from around the world to do so, including experts who are part of existing naming systems, nomenclature and virus taxonomic experts, researchers and national authorities."

But for those heroes we might have gotten 1, 2, 3, 4... or some other crushingly unfair and difficult system.

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Potentially good news.  It turns out Omicron may be much ado about nothing.

Early indications are that the symptoms are fairly mild. https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrican-doctor-says-patients-with-omicron-variant-have-very-mild-symptoms-2021-11-28/

It may turn out to be more transmissible, but the large number of mutations appears to destabilize the virus which may make it less "fit" than Delta.  At least that is what is mentioned in this article: https://nationalpost.com/news/world/omicron-covid-19-cases-mild-so-far-leading-experts-say

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

Potentially good news.  It turns out Omicron may be much ado about nothing.

Early indications are that the symptoms are fairly mild. https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrican-doctor-says-patients-with-omicron-variant-have-very-mild-symptoms-2021-11-28/

It may turn out to be more transmissible, but the large number of mutations appears to destabilize the virus making it less "fit" than Delta.  At least that is what is mentioned in this article: https://nationalpost.com/news/world/omicron-covid-19-cases-mild-so-far-leading-experts-say

 

 

 

Here’s hoping.

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13 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

But what happened to Zeta, Eta Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lamda and Mu?

https://covariants.org/variants/21F.Iota for example. Or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Zeta_variant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Eta_variant https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/lambda-variant/

Theta comes later in the alphabet.

Not too many mathematicians, astronomers or  physicists here, it seems. Or Greeks. 

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2 hours ago, dogwatch said:

https://covariants.org/variants/21F.Iota for example. Or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Zeta_variant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Eta_variant https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/lambda-variant/

Theta comes later in the alphabet.

Not too many mathematicians, astronomers or  physicists here, it seems. Or Greeks. 

 
 
Not too many greek speakers here either:rolleyes:
What are the 24 Greek letters in order?
 
 
The letters of the Greek alphabet are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu1, xi, omicron, pi1, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi1, psi1, omega.
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17 minutes ago, ShortForBob said:
 
 
Not too many greek speakers here either:rolleyes:
What are the 24 Greek letters in order?
 
 
The letters of the Greek alphabet are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu1, xi, omicron, pi1, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi1, psi1, omega.

Everyone has google Meli. It's cheap ya know. You're not a mathematician, astronomer or physicist. You're a part time, semi retired library shelf stacker.

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10 hours ago, phill_nz said:

if they were that bright they would have known xi was on the list

and

sfa use greek letters for progressive numeration apart from the excessively pretentious

Xi ? if they'd of used that all hell would have broken loose.. because  of Xi Jinping president of China..

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1 hour ago, 00seven said:

Everyone has google Meli. It's cheap ya know. You're not a mathematician, astronomer or physicist. You're a part time, semi retired library shelf stacker.

But I do speak a little practical greek. And read and write it.:rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, ShortForBob said:
 
 
Not too many greek speakers here either:rolleyes:
What are the 24 Greek letters in order?
 
 
The letters of the Greek alphabet are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu1, xi, omicron, pi1, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi1, psi1, omega.

So yes, all of those letters up to omicron, except for two, have been different variants. A virus that can party globally has a lot of chances to mutate. Some of those are worrisome, others not. So unless you follow this closely you have not heard of the epsilon or kappa variant. I am sure some conspiracy nitwit will tie this to the Chinese because the letters have been skipped. UGH

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23 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

Safe travels!

Hey Eye, I value your input so I figured I would ask.  I am heading to Chicago for a wedding soon.  It's basically a make up wedding from 2020 during covid.  Everyone was required to show vax cards with RSVP etc..  So.  I gotta fly.  I have avoided flying for 2 years, mostly because of the people...  I am In co and they are talking mask mandates etc for omicron.  So...  Do I go???  I have no problem with the venue etc as we have known everyone since I was like 5, and I got the booster a week ago, but omicron???  Do we need to isolate from stuff like this again???  

 

 

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On 11/26/2021 at 3:36 PM, Zonker said:

What is wrong with epsilon? Omnicron is hard to say

Yeah, I think it's a bad name too. They should go alphabetically, like hurricanes.

When we get to "S" it's "Sonny" because

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18 hours ago, The Q said:

Xi ? if they'd of used that all hell would have broken loose.. because  of Xi Jinping president of China..

And yet 6 months ago they didn’t give a fuck about Delta Goodrems’s feelings.

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13 hours ago, weightless said:

So choosing a naming convention with a cardinality of 24 (less the tricky ones) was farsighted?

Bearing in mind there already is a long unique alphanumerical code for each variant and the “popular” name was meant to be short and non-political in implication, what would you have suggested?

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convention would progress through either sub sets aa ab ac or a1 a2 a3

till you eventually get to b.1.1.529

it was supposed to be only a simple / quick name for quick referencing

why over complicate it

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2 hours ago, dogwatch said:

Bearing in mind there already is a long unique alphanumerical code for each variant and the “popular” name was meant to be short and non-political in implication, what would you have suggested?

Name them celestial bodies.  Won't run out of those.

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2 hours ago, phill_nz said:

convention would progress through either sub sets aa ab ac or a1 a2 a3

till you eventually get to b.1.1.529

it was supposed to be only a simple / quick name for quick referencing

why over complicate it

Well, not sure about simple: it was political from the beginning, or at least an avoidance of things becoming political. Some refer to "the China virus," then we got variants such as the British or Brazilian. The mutations did not necessarily occur in the countries where they were discovered. It can also mean that the countries that discover them have excellent ways to detect them. So the naming is supposed to take out the shaming and closures of borders as is currently happening to South Africa, so that indeed countries do not shy away from researching new strains. 

Whether the neutral names are successful in accomplishing this is questionable, although many have forgotten where the Delta variant was first detected (hint: I did not name the country). It is still astonishing to me how quickly these new variants spread around the globe. One would think we have put enough precautions around travel, but nope.

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6 hours ago, phill_nz said:

convention would progress through either sub sets aa ab ac or a1 a2 a3

till you eventually get to b.1.1.529

it was supposed to be only a simple / quick name for quick referencing

why over complicate it

Because people can't remember that. Our brains CAN remember names. Same reason we name tropical storms. We can anthropomorphize them and give them personalities, remember their traits, etc. 

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22 hours ago, shaggy said:

Hey Eye, I value your input so I figured I would ask.  I am heading to Chicago for a wedding soon.  It's basically a make up wedding from 2020 during covid.  Everyone was required to show vax cards with RSVP etc..  So.  I gotta fly.  I have avoided flying for 2 years, mostly because of the people...  I am In co and they are talking mask mandates etc for omicron.  So...  Do I go???  I have no problem with the venue etc as we have known everyone since I was like 5, and I got the booster a week ago, but omicron???  Do we need to isolate from stuff like this again???  

 

 

Sorry Shaggy,

I'm not the right person to give you personal advice. I'm a physician but I am not your physician. Travel decisions can depend on personal factors. But no physician should be giving you any personal advice on the internet anyway.

However I have flown recently and I am happy to share some common sense pointers that would apply to anyone and that others have shared.

  • Most (if not all) airlines require masks are worn from check in to disembarkation. I think that it is a federal regulation but in case I am wrong, check that you are using an airline that requires masks. (If they hand out complimentary Ivermectin tablets and allow chickens and livestock as carry on luggage, they probably dont wear masks)
  • I echo Clew's advice. If you can get hold of an N95 mask that is much better than the surgical masks that many are wearing. My personal opinion is that KN95s do not quite meet the same standard as N95s but, again, they are considerably better than surgical masks. I have no scientific basis for my opinion on KN95s. It is just that I dont want to buy stuff built to a Chinese standard if I can get stuff built to a US standard.  Many doctors offices use KN95s and do just fine. I just happen to have a supply of N95s.
  • Vaccinated and the Booster gives you a higher level of protection. Hopefully you have left more than a week for the Booster to rebuild your immunity level.
  • Finally, are the hosts going to ask the attendees to take a Covid test in the morning before they come to the ceremony? I attended a ceremony recently and the hosts asked everyone to take a quick antigen test before coming to the ceremony.  It was easy to do, and everyone happily complied.  It made for a safe, enjoyable and relaxed event.  This is a self test done at home or in your hotel room and you get a result in 15 - 20 minutes. Is it 100% accurate at identifying if you have Covid? Nope.....but it is very reliable at identifying Covid if you are at the contagious stage and shedding virus molecules. Maybe something to suggest to your hosts?  The cost is approx $10-15 per test and I cant think of a nicer additional wedding gift than a covid free ceremony.
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10 hours ago, dogwatch said:

Bearing in mind there already is a long unique alphanumerical code for each variant and the “popular” name was meant to be short and non-political in implication, what would you have suggested?

A short and simple alphanumeric code? Windows 11 following Windows 10 doesn't seem to confuse the masses.  Would Variant 1, 2, ..., n be hard? Worse than a very short list of names that most people are not familiar with?

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8 hours ago, dogwatch said:

Ah. Like Alpha Centauri.

I can't take credit for the idea.  One of my genius students came up with it after I asked her to come up with a naming convention for the computers in our school.  We had several hundred of them and needed to give each one an identifier.   It worked well, and lasted for years until the "geniuses" at the district office decided they needed at district-wide naming convention and went to a numerical encoding system that just gave them numbers.  

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27 minutes ago, weightless said:

A short and simple alphanumeric code? Windows 11 following Windows 10 doesn't seem to confuse the masses.  Would Variant 1, 2, ..., n be hard? Worse than a very short list of names that most people are not familiar with?

The variants do have an alphanumeric code. Before Delta there was of course B.1.617.1 and after Delta (B.1.617.2) there was B.1.617.3 and doubtless you recall B.1.1.7

Feel free to refer to them by their alphanumeric code but people are more likely to know what you are talking about if you refer to the Variants of Concern by their allocated name.

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1 hour ago, EYESAILOR said:

Sorry Shaggy,

I'm not the right person to give you personal advice. I'm a physician but I am not your physician. Travel decisions can depend on personal factors. But no physician should be giving you any personal advice on the internet anyway.

However I have flown recently and I am happy to share some common sense pointers that would apply to anyone and that others have shared.

  • Most (if not all) airlines require masks are worn from check in to disembarkation. I think that it is a federal regulation but in case I am wrong, check that you are using an airline that requires masks. (If they hand out complimentary Ivermectin tablets and allow chickens and livestock as carry on luggage, they probably dont wear masks)
  • I echo Clew's advice. If you can get hold of an N95 mask that is much better than the surgical masks that many are wearing. My personal opinion is that KN95s do not quite meet the same standard as N95s but, again, they are considerably better than surgical masks. I have no scientific basis for my opinion on KN95s. It is just that I dont want to buy stuff built to a Chinese standard if I can get stuff built to a US standard.  Many doctors offices use KN95s and do just fine. I just happen to have a supply of N95s.
  • Vaccinated and the Booster gives you a higher level of protection. Hopefully you have left more than a week for the Booster to rebuild your immunity level.
  • Finally, are the hosts going to ask the attendees to take a Covid test in the morning before they come to the ceremony? I attended a ceremony recently and the hosts asked everyone to take a quick antigen test before coming to the ceremony.  It was easy to do, and everyone happily complied.  It made for a safe, enjoyable and relaxed event.  This is a self test done at home or in your hotel room and you get a result in 15 - 20 minutes. Is it 100% accurate at identifying if you have Covid? Nope.....but it is very reliable at identifying Covid if you are at the contagious stage and shedding virus molecules. Maybe something to suggest to your hosts?  The cost is approx $10-15 per test and I cant think of a nicer additional wedding gift than a covid free ceremony.

Thanks eye, I appreciate it.  My biggest question was with omicron and if anything has changed since it emerged.  It seems to be a non issue if you are vaxed and mask up.   Not gonna enjoy the flight/airport experience, but feel alot better about it.  

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I spent around 30 hours in planes and airports the last two days, no big deal really. Happy to be out of midwest winter and into Cape Town summer.

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-01/omicron-variant-in-netherlands-nearly-two-weeks-ago/100663582

Dutch health officials say the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was detected in the Netherlands as early as November 19, one week before it was reported by South African authorities. 

Key points:

  • The Omicron variant was detected in samples taken on  November 19 and November 23
  • Days later, at least 14 people on flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town tested positive 
  • Contact tracing is under way for 5,000 passengers on flights from southern Africa 
 

That also predates at least 14 people on flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town having tested positive for the variant when they arrived at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, infected with the new variant on November 26.

According to the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM), the variant was detected in samples taken up to seven days prior to the South African flights. 

"We have found the Omicron coronavirus variant in two test samples that were taken on November 19 and November 23," it said. 

"It is not clear yet whether these people have visited southern Africa."

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4 hours ago, Rain Man said:

I can't take credit for the idea.  One of my genius students came up with it after I asked her to come up with a naming convention for the computers in our school.  We had several hundred of them and needed to give each one an identifier.   It worked well, and lasted for years until the "geniuses" at the district office decided they needed at district-wide naming convention and went to a numerical encoding system that just gave them numbers.  

By repute, Brits give Greek mythological names to nodes in a network, whereas Americans name them after Disney characters. This sounds like a ridiculous cliche, however at a multinational where once upon a time I worked, that’s exactly what happened.

There isn’t any single agreed astronomical catalogue and the Gaia catalogue runs into the billions. Plus, nobody can agree how to pronounce Betelgeuse.

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