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COVID Comeback? The "Arcturus" Strain Spreads
Still "Just The Flu"
There are two ways to view the emergence of the “Arcturus” strain of SARS-CoV-2 that is steadily making its way around the globe.
The first way is Stephanie Brail’s view in her “Wholistic” Substack, which has great fun with the absolute absurdity of naming a virus after a red giant star in the Big Dipper constellation.
Her AI-generated artwork is spot-on perfect. This is what COVID has become—theater of the absurd.
Then there’s the corporate media approach. Suffice it to say, corporate media is much less fun to read. Once again, we get yet another installment of Pandemic Panic Narrative. Seriously, if COVID were a soap opera we would have to call it “As The Stomach Churns”.
And yet once again we have to spend time addressing their nonsense, because—wouldn’t you know it—they’re serious. Just look at the graphic adorning the “what you need to know” article from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center For Health Security (no fascistic overtones in that name at all, is there?).
No subliminal messaging there at all! Besides, “Arcturus” is “surging” in India.
Fortune A new COVID variant the World Health Organization has its eye on seems to be causing a new symptom in children rarely caused by other Omicron spawn. XBB.1.16, dubbed “Arcturus” by variant trackers, is fueling a new surge of cases in India, at a time when reported cases are down in much of the rest of the world. The country’s health ministry is holding mock drills to ensure that hospitals are prepared for rising COVID cases, the BBC reported Monday, noting that some states have again made mask-wearing in public mandatory.
Still, we must approach this with all due seriousness, because this Arcturus variant is going around infecting children.
But XBB.1.16 may not be just another run-of-the-mill Omicron. Dr. Vipin Vashishtha—a pediatrician in India and former head of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization—tweeted Thursday that pediatric cases of COVID are on the increase for the first time in six months, and that “an infantile phenotype seems emerging.”
The symptoms he’s now seeing among children:
“Itchy” conjunctivitis—or pink eye—without pus, but with “sticky eyes”
Yes, children are now vulnerable to infectious respiratory disease. Why, that’s never happened before!
Oh, but wait…there’s a bit more just a few paragraphs further down (emphasis mine).
COVID cases in kids under 12 in India are increasing, The Times of India reported Monday. While they’re generally mild, doctors are warning “parents of children with obesity, asthma, and [those] suffering from other immunocompromised conditions not to ignore the symptoms,” and to seek care if necessary, the publication noted.
Experts told The Times they were also seeing a rise in hospitalizations of children due to adenovirus, which has symptoms similar to COVID and can also result in conjunctivitis. Adenovirus and COVID are impossible to distinguish from each other without testing.
There are “lots of anecdotals of pediatric conjunctivitis in India” right now, Raj Rajnarayanan, assistant dean of research and associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology campus in Jonesboro, Ark., and a top COVID variant tracker, tells Fortune.
So if your child gets pinkeye, it might be “Arcturus” or it might be adenovirus. No way to tell just by the pinkeye alone. But if its “Arcturus” then that’s really scary!
This really should not be a surprise, as even WebMD includes both COVID-19 and adenovirus infections on a list of “Conditions With Flu-Like Symptoms”.
Also, while adenovirus is known for causing pinkeye, the Mayo Clinic includes “eye pain” on its list of symptoms for the flu.
At first, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a bother, you usually feel much worse with the flu.
Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
Chills and sweats
Dry, persistent cough
Shortness of breath
Tiredness and weakness
Runny or stuffy nose
Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults
Apparently, this “new symptom” isn’t quite so new (something mothers with young children have known for generations—kids get pinkeye).
But “Arcturus” is a COVID variant and therefore scary and deadly, right? After all, just look at the uptick in COVID cases in India.
Here’s that same graphic—updated through as of this writing—only adjusted for population size.
That’s right, “Arcturus” is “surging” in India and producing a whopping 6-7 cases per million people per day, across the whole of India.
This is how this “surge” compares to India’s previous COVID waves.
How will India survive?
But we should also be concerned here in the US as well, because “Arcturus” is already here and already spreading.
Given the strain’s growth in the U.S., it is possible that it could overtake XBB.1.5 in the near future as the dominant strain in the country.
The variant is also increasing globally as coronavirus cases in India surge. The World Health Organization this week upgraded arcturus to a “variant of interest” and expects to publish an initial risk assessment of the strain in the coming days.
Test positivity rates are declining.
New hospital admissions are declining.
Even the death rate is…wait for it…declining.
I’m sensing a pattern here….
Moreover, hospital capacity in the US is not being stressed by COVID—not even a little bit. US hospitals overall are below 80% of capacity for all patients, and less than 2% of those patients are COVID-19 patients.
Whatever else this “Arcturus” variant is, a public health crisis it is not.
While this latest variant may become the most prevalant SARS-CoV-2 “Omicron” strain in circulation, but, insofar as the US is concerned, that still means becoming the dominant strain of a virus who’s circulation is very much on the decline. “Arcturus” is spreading to fewer people, infecting fewer people, and sending fewer people to the hospital.
Yet the corporate media still frets and clutches its collective pearls about how “transmissible” the “Arcturus” variant is.
While it does have a higher transmissibility rate than previous strains, the variant "Arcturus," also known as omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, stands out for bringing along a new COVID symptom - conjunctivitis, known as red or pink eye, which is often combined with itchiness.
In the UK, there have been five deaths attributed to the variant, a fact so disturbing the Manchester Evening News felt obliged to mention the fact twice in as many paragraphs.
Five deaths have been recorded among more than 100 sequenced cases of the new Omricon subvariant XBB.1.16, also known as Arcturus, in England, according to the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The new variant has been linked to a surge in cases in India, where ministers have reintroduced face mask rules in an attempt to quell the spread.
The latest technical briefing on Covid variants states that 105 sequenced cases of XBB.1.16 have been identified in England, with cases located in every region apart from the north east. Among these cases, there were five deaths, the UKHSA said.
100 cases all across the UK, and five deaths. Clearly a major disease outbreak is underway.
If you sense any sarcasm while reading this, it’s only because there’s plenty of it here. Sarcasm because that’s the level of seriousness the Pandemic Panic deserves. Sarcasm because that’s all the corporate media deserves for such abysmally propagandistic “news”.
The simple reality is that the “Arcturus” variant, like all the other SARS-CoV-2 variants, it ultimately just one more in a pantheon of infectious respiratory pathogens which invade human cells to produce Influenza-Like Illness. It is, quite literally, “the flu”.
Yet this not-very-deadly, not-very-dangerous variant of the “Omicron” strain of SARS-CoV-2, is nevertheless cause for yet another effort by the corporate media to resurrect their cognitively deficient Pandemic Panic Narrative. This not-very-deadly, not-very-dangerous “Omicron” variant is nevertheless yet another opportunity for the corporate media to hype the toxic and deadly mRNA inoculations.
Despite the corporate media’s endless hyping of all things COVID, the empirical reality of the “Arcturus” variant is that is remains not very deadly and not very dangerous. Like so many variants which have emerged before, this one really is “just the flu.”
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