Recent COVID-19 Trends Suggest That Initial Fears of Omicron Were Overwrought

COVID-19 cases have been identified in America and “have risen to record levels.” The New York TimesAccording to reports, the omicron virus variant has “moved with extraordinary speed across the nation, from New York and Hawaii, both which have reported more coronavirus patients in the week just past than during any other seven day period of the pandemic.” This is the Times Notes that Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware all reported record casesloads.

While there are many ways to help the TimesWhile the article highlights the most worrying aspects of COVID-19’s current surge, it also contains details that indicate the original fears about omicron weren’t overblown. “Hospitalizations also up but not as often as cases,” according to the TimesThis is a slight understatement. Hospitalizations have risen by 8 percent since two weeks ago, according to the newspaper’s counts. That figure is lower than the 83 per cent increase in daily new cases over the same time period. The 7-day average number of deaths per day rose just 3 percent.

Hospitalizations and deaths may be lagging indicators but it’s been over a month since the United States began seeing a sharp rise in new daily cases. The Worldometer data shows that the average seven-day increase in hospitalizations rose by threefold from November 29 to yesterday. The daily deaths rose less than 50% between November 29th and December 21st. Since then there has been a small decline, likely due to holiday-related issues. The number of hospitalizations for patients with positive tests after they were admitted due to other causes has increased around 40 percent in the past month. Although case numbers have reached “near-record levels”, daily hospitalizations and deaths remain well below those of mid-January.

South Africa is where the omicron variant first was identified in November. This may give some clues as to what might happen next. Between mid-November to December 18, South Africa’s average daily number of new cases per day exploded, but it has been steadily declining since. Similar to the United States’, deaths rose at a much lower rate than cases, although they were higher than reported January numbers.

Similar to the U.K., there has been a sharp increase in new daily cases. However, only a small increase in hospitalizations. These tend to be fewer serious cases than during the previous surge.[The]The number of covid-19-positive patients in English hospitals has been on the rise, but not rapidly,” Chris Hopson (CEO of NHS Providers), who represents British workers in health care, stated in an article Twitter thread yesterday. This is what he said to the British trust heads who oversee British hospitals. [the]A large number of patients who are not symptomatic and have been admitted to the hospital due to other medical reasons, then tested positive for Covid. “Incidence Covid” is a term that some are using to describe this. Hopson stated that hospitals “are not reporting large numbers patients suffering from severe Covid-type respiratory issues and needing urgent care.”

These are all consistent with fears that the omicron variant, now responsible for an estimated 59% of COVID-19-related cases in America, may be more infectious than the delta. They do not necessarily support the idea that omicron might be deadlier. Contrary to popular belief, as ReasonRon Bailey, a member of the Advisory Board at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has pointed out that early data suggests that omicron infection is less likely to lead to life-threatening complications.

The South African study found that COVID-19 infected patients by the omicron variant were 80 per cent less likely than other patients to need hospitalizations in the period October 1-December 6. This same study showed that patients infected with the Omicron variant and admitted to hospital in the fall were 75% less likely than those infected with the Delta variant. They were also 70% more likely to get severe illness than those infected in April or November. Omicron was found to be associated with two-thirds less risk of COVID-19 hospitalisations than Delta, according to the Scottish study.

You can find the following: TimesA story in today’s newspaper notes that fears about the rapid spread of omicron are “tempered with early evidence that this variant causes milder effects, and vaccines and boosters help to prevent serious illness or death.” According to a Scottish study, patients who had been given booster shots were 57% less likely than those who only received 2 doses.

Because omicron can have a significant impact on people’s lives, it is important to consider factors such as their age, health status, current vaccinations and history of previous infections. Although omicron can cause more severe illness than the delta virus, the impact of large numbers on health systems could still be significant, increasing death and stress. However, the United States is faring much better than the last year in terms of deaths. It is misleading to focus on severe diseases rather than infections in this regard.

The “Experts from around the globe have voiced concern about the possibility of a large number of infected people overwhelming health care systems already overloaded by the strain.” Times reports. But that is not the case. Those who believe that the virus has become endemic are arguing that governments should abandon lockdowns in favor of more flexible rules. You might be wondering when this pandemic will stop. Paragraphs like those found in the TimesThis seems like an excellent indicator.