If 2020 was the year of COVID-19 shock, and 2021 has become the year of COVID-19 exhaustion, then what will the emergence of the Omicron variant mean for 2022?
I am not a medical professional and have no intention of offering medical advice. I have spent most of my professional life analysing security risks, and I have been interpreting relevant data that will impact on 2022 from this perspective.
The Omicron variant appears to be a different beast. In populations that have a large number of people who have already had COVID, or a large number of people who have been fully vaccinated, or a combination of the two, Omicron appears to be causing less severe outcomes than earlier variants. As a consequence of being far more transmissible, Omicron is also racing through populations as fast as people breathe.
Consequently, where we see Omicron becoming the dominant variant, we see lots of people at home ill, or at home in quarantine as a result of being identified as a close contact. This means that medical systems may be overwhelmed by the number of people who are ill at the same time, or because so many medical professionals will be ill, or in quarantine, at the same time.
On top of the pressure on medical systems, the consequences of so many people potentially being ill, or in quarantine, at the same time will put immense pressure on the systems that deliver our food and household products, as well as the systems that keep our cities and societies functioning.
Based on the data I have been able to analyse so far, my hypothesis is that 2022 will begin with a health threat that we have become accustomed to, but also with a threat to the systems that have enabled us to more-or-less cope with the health threat we have faced since February 2020.
I hypothesise that our political leaders will continue to oscillate between playing catch-up with the virus and then pretending that we are on the path back to normal, until they are once again forced to play catch-up. To illustrate my point, during the week before Christmas, with Omicron racing around the world, there was no plan for a National Cabinet meeting until state leaders started making a lot of noise. Australia has now had its National Cabinet meeting, and nothing significant was decided to prepare us for temporary comprehensive system failure.
In addition, the mainstream media are still doing their normal frighten the public with new scary facts without context performance. How about one Australian mainstream media outlet calms down, clears the terror from their minds, and listens to an extremely experienced and globally aware public health professional like Dr. John Campbell from Carlisle?
If you would like to know more about the evidence I have been analysing and the arguments I have been considering, then please have a listen to the below podcasts, which were both recorded during the week before Christmas 2021.
Be kind to each other, and look after each other, and look beyond the utterances of our overwhelmed and underwhelming leaders and fear soaked mainstream media.
Blind Insights – PSA – Omicron and the Woes of Public Health Communications
342 – HEAVE AWAY, HAUL AWAY, BOUND FOR 2022 IN SA