South Africa has practiced and modeled good science and good sense. Dr. Angelique Coetzee (pronounced koot-see-a) was among the first to alert South African epidemiologists to what has now been named the omicron variant of COVID-19. Or, as dubbed here, the “OMG! variant.”
A calm clinician, Coetzee had deduced that what she was seeing in her patients—and successfully treating—was a heretofore unseen COVID variant with attendant mild disease.
Quickly were South Africa’s skilled and responsible epidemiologists alerted and the genetic sequencing commenced. And, voila: A mutation! Also a completely unremarkable occurrence in the annals, and course, of epidemics. As molecular evolution and virology tell us, viruses—clever little RNA strands that they are—mutate during disease outbreaks without significant impact on the outbreak.
By the good doctor’s summation, “I’ve seen nothing in this variant that warrants Britain’s extreme response to it.” Ditto that of the rest of the world.
Coetzee and her colleagues were the ones encountering and treating omicron; but the cretins at the helm of the international COVID cartel, based in D.C., had all the answers. Nobody was going to crimp their style, not least a stoic, calm, rational clinician in the thick of it. Ethics and efficacy be dammed, travel to and from a poor nation, South Africa, was forthwith suspended. After all, unlike “the world’s factory,” China—free to spread disease with impunity—poor nations are incapable of retaliating.
So, while clinicians on the ground met omicron with equanimity; Western politicians working the pandemic and armed with not much more than ignorance sprung into Brownian motion.
Aside from eminently reasonable calm—the South Africans were imparting a tidbit the television doctors and the pandemic’s political manhandles were not keen to share: There were vaccinated people among “the new omicron variant sequenced in 77 cases.”
This is not to say that infections are not up in South Africa …