Okay, BA.2.12.1 Was A Dud. BA.4 and BA.5 Are The Real Deal....Honest!
Pandemic Panic Simply Refuses To Go Away
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The Corporate Media simply refuses to give up their quest for the new scarifying maybe-kinda-sorta-deadly-but-not-really COVID-19 variant.
As readers will recall, the “experts” have previously tried to generate a bit of fear over sub-sub-variant BA.2.12.1 spreading “rapidly” in North Texas.
Since BA.2.12.1 proved to be not up to the task of striking fear into the hearts of ordinary citizens, as of mid-April we have not one but two Omicron sub-variants making their way through the world population:
Confirmed cases of two new Omicron sub-variants — known as BA.4 and BA.5 — have emerged in several countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The agency’s experts, working alongside infectious disease researchers around the world, are currently tracking these two sub-strains closely to figure out whether they are more infectious or pathogenic.
Naturally, the conclusion of the “experts” was that these variants were dangerous and likely to be a problem.
Ankara University virologist Abdulkadir Yilmaz stated in a tweet: "BA.4 and BA.5 are 63-84 per cent more contagious than BA.2, the most contagious virus in human history, and have the L452R mutation, which is associated with high pathogenicity. They are more likely to be pathogenic than BA2. They seem much more contagious."
As of April 12, these two sub-variants had been detected in Botswana, South Africa, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. How have these “63-84 percent more contagious” viruses presented in these countries? Judge for yourself.
Aside from the highly artificial spike in Botswana at the end of March, these "more contagious” viral strains have not translated into rising cases.
This lack of positive cases did not stop the “experts”, however, who dutifully trundled out Harvard epidemiologist and leading Twitter Drama Queen Eric Feigl-Ding to clutch his pearls in horror at these new strains.
Feigl-Ding flunked even Common Core Math, apparently, as his “Genomic Prevalance” chart failed to reconcile to the fact that, at the time of his tweet, cases in South Africa were not rising.
Deaths also failed to rise to meet Eric’s expectations.
If one looks at the case data in South Africa from mid-April onward, cases do rise.
Hospitalizations…not so much.
Deaths also are not rising to fit the narrative.
What was a non-issue in South Africa in mid-April is still not an healthcare crisis at the beginning of May.
Coming To America
Of course, a viral outbreak in far-away South Africa won’t do for alarming people here in the United States, so on April 30th, Fortune Magazine dutifully spread the word that BA.4 and BA.5 had landed in the United States.
Madison Stoddard, a COVID-19 researcher at drug development firm Fractal Therapeutics, confirmed Friday that there were 12 cases of U.S.-sequenced BA.4 in GISAID, an international research database that tracks changes in COVID and the flu virus, with the earliest collected on March 30. There were also five cases of BA.5 sequenced in the U.S. as of Friday, with the earliest collection date of March 29, they said.
On Monday (May 2), Fortune doubled down on Pandemic Panic by forecasting a potential “BA.4/BA.5 wave”, owing to the strains’ greater transmissibility.
A new BA.4/BA.5 wave is “a strong possibility,” given the subvariants’ increased transmissibility and their ability to evade immunity, Sigal and his team wrote in their new study.
However, with these strains in the US since late March, New York has had a noticeable uptick in cases….
…which has not been matched by deaths.
Even in New York, the presence of these “more transmissible” variants has not produced a rise in cases to match the less transmissible Omicron.
If a virus is going to be highly contagious and transmissible, shouldn’t people be actually getting sick, or at least testing positive?
This last point has actually been conceded by the Corporate Media:
But Sigal doesn’t expect a huge wave, given that Omicron infected so many worldwide. He also doesn’t expect “a very severe wave in terms of disease severity,” he said, given the measure of protection—albeit reduced—that vaccination and/or prior Omicron infection will offer.
“Infections? Yes,” he said. “Disease severity? Not so much.”
In other words, BA.4 and BA.5 will produce a lot of positive test results, but other than that will prove as “stealthy’ as strains of BA.2 have been (i.e., no one gets sick from it).
Are you scared yet?
I think what they are neglecting is that a large fraction of the population in South Africa (and the US as well) has already had one one of the previous omicron strains and thus has some level of natural immunity against these new sub-variants. This will likely prevent them from spreading very rapidly, and from causing much in the way actual disease.
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it ... And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable…what then?" George Orwell, 1984