Are Omicron Particles related to the new COVID strain? Today I’ll answer this question in detail. If we ask Fauci, he will tell us, “We have to follow the science, but we still need to look at the data, so keep wearing a mask and get vaccinated.” Ask anybody with a brain, and they will tell you, “No.”
Omicron is the newest COVID variant, as of November 28, 2021. If the naming continued to go in order, it should have been called the Nu-COVID, but the WHO thought people would confuse it with “New COVID”.
The next in line after “Nu COVID” would have been “Xi COVID”, but then people would have assumed it was being named after Xi Jinping, the leader of China. So now it is named Omicron, and now innocent little Omicron particles are going to be blamed for the current highly contagious (but not very dangerous) COVID variant.
What are Omicron Particles?
Omicron particles are related to Omicron radiation, and it exists in the world of Star Trek (which is make-believe).
Omicron radiation is an energy form that can only be created by certain forms of matter-antimatter reactions, and which can be toxic to certain forms of humanoid life. Extremely rare, omicron particles can be utilized in holography and to replenish antimatter reserves.
Also in that year, when attempting to discover a way to disable the organic power cells in Xindi-Reptilian particle rifles, Tucker and Phlox began bombarding them with different forms of radiation and discovered that omicron radiation caused the cells to reproduce at an accelerated rate.
Yaderan holographic technology utilized manipulated omicron particle fields to generate physical objects.
In 2371, the crew of the USS Voyager entered a nebula in which they had detected unusually high levels of omicron particles, hoping to collect the particles to provide an additional antimatter reserve. It was eventually determined, however, that the phenomenon was not, in fact, a nebula, but rather an enormous lifeform that utilized omicron particles in its circulatory system.
Realizing that they had seriously injured the lifeform upon entering it, Captain Janeway ordered Voyager into the being’s wound, allowing the ship, the energy systems of which were compatible with omicron particles, to serve as an energy conduit across the wound, facilitating the regeneration of the damaged tissue. Directing two nucleonic beams fore and aft, parallel to the central axis of the ship, the crew of Voyager was successfully able to heal the lifeform which they had inadvertently wounded.
In 2378, Voyager crewmember Icheb was injured by what appeared to be a weapon of Chokuzan design, his cells having been necrotized by a form of omicron radiation.
And what does all of this have to do with the Omicron COVID? Absolutely nothing, but “come on, man”, if we are skipping over “Xi COVID”, because the WHO does not want to offend “Xi Jinping” (whose country is responsible for COVID in the first place), then us Star Trek fans get to make fun of the final name.
To be serious, what exactly is the Omicron COVID variant?
Omicron is the newest variant of COVID as of November 28, 2021. Its numeric designation is B.1.1.529 (boring). Every COVID variant gets some type of numeric designations, regardless of if just one patient has the variant or the variant gets transmitted worldwide.
Is it contagious? Is it dangerous? Is the world going to go into another international lockdown? If I was a betting person and regularly took advantage of a Springbok Casino bonus, I would say that yes, it is very contagious and no it is not dangerous. And will nations do more lockdowns?
I tend to be pessimistic in this area, and I believe in the theory that too many world leaders (international, national, state, and local) have gotten a taste of too much power. This has caused this sense of power to go to their heads and they are making decisions based on their own personal needs as opposed to what is best for the people they are supposed to represent.
What is the timeline for the Omicron COVID variant?
- 9 November 2021 – First known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected in Gauteng province, South Africa.
- 11 November 2021 – First case was collected in Botswana and a case in Hong Kong. The first case was in South Africa, but due to checking people who travel internationally, the Botswana case was identified before the South African case, even though the Botswana patient caught Omicron from somebody in South Africa.
- 24 November 2021 – B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa (2 weeks later), Israel started to give warnings about a “5th wave” of COVID cases. At this stage there were 10 Cases reported worldwide. 3 cases in Botswana, 6 cases in South Africa and 1 case in Hong Kong.
- 26 November 2021 – Case discovered in Israel and seven potential additional cases.
- 27 November 2021 – 100 cases in South Africa, and cases in Hong Kong, Belgium, Botswana, the United Kingdom, and Israel.
The reproduction rate of the Omicron COVID variant is 2. This means that for every COVID case, COVID is passed onto two other people within a 24 hour period.
What are the symptoms of the Omicron COVID variant?
Patients with Omicron COVID do not lose their sense of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough.
“It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,”
Dr. Angelique Coetzee (a board member of the South African Medical Association) explained
“So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.”
At the current time, it looks as if the Omicron variant is very contagious, but the symptoms are very mild. But the initial round of patients in South Africa are college students who all attend the same college. Omicron is just starting to infect people in the general community, so it is unknown at the current time how it will affect the elderly.
What do we know about Omicron Patient zero?
Patient Zero for the Omicron COVID variant had undetected HIV. In other words, he did not know that he had HIV. It is thought that the HIV combined with the COVID virus created the mutation. Most of the patients were men who reported “feeling so tired,” and half of them were unvaccinated. The patients comprised a range of ages and ethnicities. It even included a six year old child with a high fever and a very high pulse rate.
What do we know about Gauteng province, South Africa?
South Africa is still suffering from one of the largest HIV epidemics globally. Gauteng province has the highest density for both HIV prevalence and PLHIV patients. 24% of the men and 48% of the women have HIV. South Africa has 7.5 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) in 2018. HIV prevalence in the country remains persistently high with 18.9% of adults aged 15 and older infected with the virus, and more than 200 000 new infections occurring every year.
Although it is horrible that so many people in South Africa, especially in the Gauteng province, have HIV, it probably means that a large proportion of Omicron COVID cases are with people who have HIV, immunocompromised.
Assuming that fact, it is probably a good guess that if the HIV patients are just ending up being very weak for two days with no other major symptoms, that it is safe to assume that most likely the elderly will have similar responses.
Although, only 38% of the South African adult population is vaccinated in the province of Gauteng. 64% of the adults over 60. 58% of the adults 50-59. 45% of the adults 35 – 49. But only 27% of the adults 18-34, which is the age group where the Omicron COVID variant initially spread.
How is the Omicron COVID variant different than the other variants?
The Omicron variant is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus. The main difference is that there are more mutations than the Delta COVID variant. The Delta COVID variant had 10 mutations to the spike protein. The Omicron variant has 30 mutations to the spike protein.
The positive is that one particular PCR assay can detect the Omicron COVID Variant, so the world does not have to wait to use the Omicron COVID Variant detection test. But it is unknown at the current time if the home COVID tests can detect the Omicron COVID variant. But since the major symptom of Omicron COVID is a cough and feeling very tired, if you start feeling very tired, just stay home. Even if you are feeling very tired, just stay home.
Yeah, I know. Now, every person who is suffering from a hangover (or just stayed up too late the night before) is going to have the excuse, “Oh, I am feeling so tired. It must be the Omicron variant, so I should just stay home to protect my classmates and/or coworkers).
Are countries overreacting by shutting down travel from South Africa and other neighboring countries?
This is one of those situations where the world has to have the attitude of “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.”
I hope that Omicron COVID turns out to be that South Africa that ends up with a lot of people become very tired with a slight cough for several days, and then it is over.
And for South Africa itself, they need to copy what China did, and essentially test the whole city where there are major outbreaks.
By testing in groups, 5 to 15 specimens in a batch, a whole city can be tested in a very short period of time. If the whole group of specimens is clean, then every sample in the group is clean.
Israel was able to test the whole country within a couple of days by testing all of the children through the schools. Take all of the samples from a class. If the whole batch is clean, every child in the batch is clean. Since children are the ones who are not vaccinated and in most cases asymptomatic, it can provide a snapshot of COVID spread in a community.
Also, although it is not a guarantee, it is less likely other members of the children’s family have COVID if the child does not have COVID. Israel did this at the beginning of the school year and found 20,000 cases. Some people started to claim that Israel had a huge increase in COVID cases, so therefore it proves that the COVID vaccines do not work.
But these cases were with children who were not vaccinated, and most of them were asymptomatic (no risk of death). But it was catching COVID cases that could still potentially be spread. So those kids were kept home, and their families were kept home, and it reduced the spread.
By following what Israel did, will it stop the spread in South Africa? Most likely not. But, for a country like South Africa, it will give time for more of the population to get vaccinated that want to get vaccinated.
It sucks that there is yet another COVID variant that is very contagious. It sucks that some politicians are going to use this variant for political purposes. It sucks that a lot of countries are temporarily stopping international travel to and from South Africa.
But on the plus side, the symptoms seem to be no more than a cough and being very very tried for a couple of days, and this is with a population that has high HIV numbers (aka immunocompromised). The one exception was with a child with a high pulse and a high fever.
Now if the rest of the world can get enough test kits to South Africa, so South Africa can essentially test the whole country by focusing on testing children in classrooms, it will provide South Africa with a snapshot of where the COVID outbreaks are. Then South Africa can work from there and this particular variant can be quickly contained.
Watch this space for updates in the General News category on Running Wolf’s Rant.