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Ugh, Omicron Panic is so 2020.

David Pollack - Not Just Pollack-Tics

You better get vaxxed, you better not die, you better stay home, I’m telling you why…. Omicron is coming to town! That’s right, just in time for your holiday gathering the World Health Organization (WHO) is sounding fresh alarms about its latest variant of concern, Omicron! Hailing from South Africa, this new variant has triggered a fresh round of restrictions in countries like Great Britain and Germany. Even New York has already declared a State of Emergency as a “precautionary measure,” allowing hospitals to turn away non urgent care patients. This amongst fresh vaccine mandate related staffing shortages.

In addition to enhanced restrictions, many countries are now shutting their borders to travelers from several southern African countries. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the Philippines, Thailand and several other countries already announced or proposed bans on flights from the region.

Understandably, African nations are pretty upset about the travel bans, especially since the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention observed that imposing bans on travelers from countries where a new variant is reported has not yielded a meaningful outcome. Nevertheless, there are surprisingly no claims of bias or racism coming from democrats. By contrast, you might remember House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2020 election year claim that Trump’s similar ban was un-American and a threat to our security, our values and our rule of law…that barring more than 350 million people from mostly African countries from traveling to the U.S., was discrimination disguised as policy.” Or perhaps you recall then candidate Joe Biden’s February 2020 tweet where he claimed, “Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.” Separately, Mr. Biden alleged that President Trump exhibited “hysterical xenophobia” when his administration issued the travel ban on China in response to COVID-19. Alas, I guess we’ll just go along with White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s claim that this ban is different because President Biden believes we should follow the advice of health and medical experts claiming that's exactly what he did in putting in place these restrictions.

Putting aside the hypocrisy for a moment, it is becoming apparent that just as with the delta variant, the media and certain “scientists” have rushed to begin their predictable campaigns to scare the bejesus out of people, going as far as describing Omicron as a “super variant!” Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, Anthony Fauci, has begun to speculate that the variant could even evade the protection currently provided by vaccines, monoclonal antibodies as well as convalescent plasma from previously infected individuals. That’s right, nothing will save you from this horrible new variant! In fact, CBS warns that there is a "good reason to be worried" as the Omicron COVID variant spreads fast!” ABC reports, “Experts peg Omicron as ‘worst’ variant that we have come across.” The New York Times says, “Omicron is coming, the U.S. must act now!” A Washington Post headline reads, “Omicron coronavirus variant poses ‘very high’ global risk.” Bloomberg News Reports: “Toddlers Make Up 10% of Hospital Cases in Omicron Epicenter.”

Despite the carefully crafted headlines designed to inspire the most fear possible, Dr. Fauci also admits that much remains unknown about the variant. While first warning people of certain catastrophe, he further went on to say, “It is conceivable that...the vaccines we have may well be able to contain this…and then this won't be as serious as some people are surmising it might be." The WHO also stressed that more research is needed to determine whether the variant is more contagious, whether it causes more severe disease, and whether it could evade vaccines. A South African doctor who has experience with treating the variant has also reported that the symptoms have been unusual but mild, stating that individuals infected don’t lose their taste or smell, and might have a slight cough.

Nevertheless, Fauci warns that Americans should be prepared to fight the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron…including possible mandates or lockdowns, although he admits that it’s “too early to say." In a public statement on Monday, President Biden asserted that no lockdowns would be necessary if everyone, including children get vaccinated and wear a mask. Considering the unrealistic pre-conditions, it doesn’t seem that lockdowns are entirely off the table.

With all the fearful speculation and nonsensical double speak, I think most people are sharing a collective eye roll with COVID-19 at this point. We are two years into this pandemic with vaccines, therapeutics, natural immunity, and a significantly better understanding of the virus, leaving many to wonder why world governments are even considering lockdowns and other measures that have done very little to slow the spread of the disease. Add to that a CDC that seemingly tailors its recommendations to political whims with the FDA in lock step behind it, it’s no wonder why people are rejecting COVID-19 related restrictions and recommendations. Then of course, there is more hypocrisy.

People remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was caught getting her hair done at a San Francisco salon despite local coronavirus rules barring indoor personal care services. People also remember when California Governor Gavin Newsom was seen dining out with a party of guests in violation of his own coronavirus safety protocols. Lest we not forget Former President Barack Obama’s mask-less 60th birthday bash with 475 invited guests and 200 workers. Considering this and all the beautifully barefaced celebrities at award shows being waited on by their masked servants, it’s no wonder why protests are occurring across the globe in response to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the people’s frustrations are falling on deaf ears as increasingly authoritarian governments continue to float lockdowns, additional mandates and restrictions.

And where does it end? There are still plenty of letters remaining in the Greek alphabet, even after skipping Nu and Xi. Does anyone really think COVID-19 is ever going away? In fact, Moderna’s CEO says that the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness will likely have a “material drop” against the Omicron variant, even boosters for the current vaccines are being promoted. He further discussed new vaccines that could be modified to target Omicron, and what then? Should we start the vaccination efforts from scratch and roll out new mandates just in time to pivot to the next variant? This is undoubtedly frustrating for Americans who just want to get back to normal, but gosh it seems profitable for the vaccine manufacturers, whose stock values are up $60 billion since Omicron was rolled out.

Heading into 2022, I think we can all agree that the panic over Omicron is so 2020. Is COVID-19 scary? At times, sure…but everyone has a choice now to either get a vaccine or not, get a booster or not, take their mask off or not. The hysterical reporting and government restrictions will only make people more afraid or conversely more defiant, which will only serve to divide this country further—unless of course that is the intent. As a result, many are left wondering whether any of this is really about public safety anymore or whether it’s more about power, profit, and politics.

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