If there’s a stand-out lesson from the last two years in trying to avoid first Covid and then the Delta variety, it’s surely that creating a hermit kingdom was a price too big to pay. We found the hard way that elimination and then minimisation simply were overly optimistic goals.
So observing the rest of the world, obviously Omicron will hit us big, given its phenomenal contagious character. But the good news is its relatively mild effect. In its home country South Africa, it’s resulted in a tenth of the number of hospitalisations of Delta, while for the vast majority of people catching it, the effect has been relatively mild and done with after a few days.
As expected the northern hemisphere has borne the brunt, solely due to winter. It will hit here in our summer which may temper its initial impact. But, when in four or so months in Europe it will be done and dusted, with the onset of winter in New Zealand, we could possibly cop a huge surge.
If so, let’s hope there’s no resurrection of nanny-statism with pointless daily TV babble sessions by the PM and the scout master looking bloke Ashley. Instead we should adopt the Swedish approach and instead of constant futile lockdowns, accept it and get it over with in a short spate of time.
Indicative of its relatively mild effect is an Economist chart showing people 70 and over have the best tolerance of it. That if nothing else should show it’s a short-term nuisance, not to be feared.