The Omicron crisis is still severe for individuals and the NHS – don’t believe what the Tory ostriches are saying

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Me in my respirator. You need at least an N95/FFP2/FFP3 mask to be safe

A lot of misleading headlines in the UK press this morning. It seems that:

1. Omicron may be a little less ‘intrinsically’ severe than Delta (in the range 0-30 per cent) – so this is the slightly reduced threat for unvaccinated people who’ve never had Covid.

2. Its ‘observed’ severity is rather lower – a lower proportion of people will end up in hospital or dying – because most of the people it’s infecting have either had Covid before (it may be as much as 10 times as likely to reinfect than Delta was), or been vaccinated, and therefore have a degree of immunity.

3. However Omicron is far more transmissible than Delta (and remember Delta was twice as transmissible as the original Covid), and so is infecting more people than ever and – although the proportion being hospitalised is smaller – the absolute number of Covid patients in hospital is going up quickly in London and will probably follow elsewhere.

4. At the same time, the number of hospital outbreaks of Covid has doubled, putting already sick patients at risk. More doctors and nurses are isolating because of Covid, so fewer are available to look after the growing number of patients. Non-Covid activities (operations people have been waiting for for months or years, etc.) are being cancelled on an industrial scale.

5. So overall, this is a very, very serious crisis, getting worse. The Tory government, its backbench ostriches and allied press are criminally minimising this, causing many more deaths and potentially catastrophic effects on the NHS.

6. Boosted immunity is still very good against serious disease but a bit less against infection – so get boosted. However it’s a lie to say that boosters will solve the present crisis, because millions are not eligible and people boosted now will not get the full benefits for 2-3 weeks.

7. Do all you can to avoid catching Covid, and basically don’t fall sick with anything or have an accident, because if you do the medical help may just not be there.

Happy Christmas!

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