Is it physically possible for a coronavirus variant to be as contagious as omicron but as deadly as MERS

is that possible or is there no way to know. I don’t know to what degree it’s a trade off between the two traits.

Anything is possible. Deadliness is self-limiting if it kills or incapacitates the host before the virus has time to spread. But such a virus would definitely cause some initial chaos until we understood what it was. And it was be even more devastating if it had a long period of asymptomatic spread before turning deadly.

I don’t believe there’s any such trade-off.

Natural selection tends to favor lower virulence, because milder symptoms allow the host to continue to mingle with other people and infect them. The reason Ebola has never become a widespread problem is that it debilitates people so quickly that they are bedridden or dead before they can infect a lot of other people.

The nightmare scenario is a strain that is highly contagious with mild symptoms in the early stages, allowing infected people to continue to interact with others and spread the infection; then longer term symptoms that become much more serious. This is possible, but unlikely - mild symptoms in the short term are correlated with mild symptoms in the long term, a slow onset tends to allow the immune system time to react.

So Omicron is following the likely course of evolution, but it’s still a relief to see it happening.

And because it’s only mildly contagious.

With a high enough percentage of maskholes and antivax morons in play I’m sure we’ll eventually find out what’s possible.

Just saw an article about NeoCov today. Hopefully it doesn’t lead to anything or spread to humans

Sputnik cited the Wuhan scientists as saying that NeoCoV carries with it the potentially combined high mortality rate of MERS-CoV (where one in three infected people die on average) and the high transmission rate of the current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The ultimate source of that report is Sputnik – Russian state-owned radio. I’ll wait for information about that serious of a threat to come from better sources.

FWIW, if you check Google News for “NeoCov” … some portion of Indian media (like Zee News) is reporting on it, while most all media elsewhere in the world is ignoring it.