When I published my weekend reads last Saturday, we had just learned the name of the new variant, Omicron, and this week, it IS the news – definitely the largest section today.
When a news cycle like this breaks, I dive into it. I read as much as I can, attempting to understand what is going on, so I can make the right decisions for my family, and be informed about the situation.
Almost immediately, I saw people in my community expressing opinions about Omicron. It was no big deal. It was the end of the world. It was less deadly. It was more deadly. And the truth is, right now, everyone is wrong, because we don’t know what’s right yet. We won’t know for another two weeks, give or take.
Science takes time and we are always two weeks behind the news of the virus. I hope we finally get that message before this pandemic is over.
Anyhoo, for me, it’s been a classic example of the news cycle and our reactions to it. Fear, panic, craziness, opinions and noise. Naturally, many are extremely frustrated, because events had to be cancelled, festive season plans abandoned too. Living during a pandemic is not easy.
But here’s my take on the week. The first is, Governments around the world acted faster than ever before, although the opinion of the experts is, once it’s out it’s out. As we’ve seen this week, it’s definitely out. Even Japan has cases and it’s a closed country.
We also saw very strong and powerful African voices expressing valid dismay at the global response, and the message that vaccine inequality a big part of the reason we are in this situation. They are correct. Until it’s over everywhere, it’s not over anywhere.
What we know – based on the cluster in South Africa which hasn’t passed the two-week mark yet – provides a very real-time situation and the final data is not in yet. First, it appears it is more contagious. Secondly, as the first cluster is in a group of college students, the early conclusions is focused on how younger people are reacting to it and reports state it’s not too bad. The challenge is, we don’t have a generational view yet.
The other piece of news out of this cluster in South Africa is a higher than normal rate of children under two being hospitalized, and why that’s happening is unclear. I recommend – Omicron Variant Drives Rise in Covid-19 Hospitalizations in South Africa Hot Spot to get this overall perspective.
Another worthwhile read, under the Covid section below, is Inside a Sequencing Lab on the Front Lines of America’s Search for Omicron.
There are three aspects scientists are looking for in a variant, and even if this information is heading in the wrong direction, it still does not mean it will become the dominant variant. Only time will tell. The three things are:
- How infectious is it? Will it become the dominant strain?
- What is the impact on health outcomes – hospitalizations and deaths?
- Will it erode immunity that has been afforded by vaccines?
In the next couple of weeks we’ll have the answer to these questions. In the meantime, all we can do is be patient, get on with our life, be safe and not live in fear. We’ll know soon enough and we’ll get through this stage of the pandemic too. It’s not over yet, but we are heading towards the end. It won’t be the same, but it will end.
Until we know, please, let’s make a commitment to not contribute to the misinformation cycle that has plagued the world during this pandemic.
Friend’s content and mine
My Life, My Story – My brilliant friend Simone de Haas. Just beautiful and inspiring.
Just me this week and it’s a podcast, How I deal with the bleakness – since I took the Astra booster, I have not been myself and the world has looked very bleak some days these last couple of months. I decided to share this journey and what I do about it. Have a listen if you’ve been struggling lately – booster or not. It’s a tough time.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, the blog and video for Have you learnt to trust in yourself? Your own wisdom within? is over on my other Website.
If you’re looking for ideas on the changes you can make at home or work, please do check out 40 ideas you can adopt OR influence to drive substantial change in your community or business – grateful to do this with Susanna Hasenoehrl, Tim Wade, Michelle Mouille and Joanne Flinn.
If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Help us feed people in Phuket or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
New study links major fashion brands to Amazon deforestation tks Kevin Cottam
California Vineyards Use Owls Instead of Pesticides tks Vicky Coburn
Kenyan. Climate Activist, Elizabeth Wathuti, makes a presentation at #COP26 in Glasgow – tks Robert Kirubi
November 30 Omicron coronavirus variant news tks Vicky Coburn
The Omicron variant reveals the true global danger of ‘vaccine apartheid’ tks Lavinia Thanapathy
‘Like Fresh Meat’: Detailing Rampant Sex Harassment in Australia’s Parliament tks Phillipa Edwards
Business and technology
From Amazon to Zoom: What Happens in an Internet Minute In 2021? tks Andrew Psarianos
Social issues and humanity
‘Toxic Masculinity’ Is Stopping Boys Seeking Mental Health Support tks Andrew Psarianos
The Rolodex of Make Nice failed me when I was faced with an awkward question tks Phillipa Edwards
Passion, humour, history
Why Australians love going barefoot tks Andrew Psarianos
H3rizon – One More Christmas (Official Video) – tks Russell Distance Russell
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
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