The Omicron Variant

So, 8 countries in Southern Africa are now on the restricted travel list because of a new and significantly mutated variant called, Omicron. Will it be as troublesome as Delta or more or less so? I’m hoping we can get our holiday season in before it spreads here and becomes a real factor. If we can do that, we can minimize it much better.

Covido is the latest Omigosh variant.

I just wonder if we’re officially changing the pronunciation of “omicron” to “Oh, my crone” to match the newscasters.

I noticed that. As I remember my classical Greek, omicron was the letter for their SHORT “O”, and omega is their letter for their long “O”. It should be pronounced, [ AH - MAH - CRAN ]

Someone I know from Australia pronounces it “oh-my-crone”, so maybe it’s a regional difference. I’ve always pronounced it oh-mih-kron.

I mostly say uh-mi-cron, but I think ah-mi-cron would be my preferred pronounciation.

But both of the mRNA makers are poised to produce an updated vaccine:

Pfizer said it will be able to manufacture and distribute an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine within 100 days if the new variant Omicron is found to be resistant to its current vaccine.

I wonder how that interacts with the ability to vaccinate the world? Until this news came out, we were on-track to have a global vaccine surplus around June. (I’m sure there will still be distribution and access problems, but at that point, we could vaccinate kids in the US without it taking vaccine from the elderly in poor nations.) I hope this doesn’t set back the effort to vaccinate poor nations. :cry:

What happened to Epsilon? Why did we go straight from Delta to Omicron?

Don’t cloud the issue with reason and logic. :smiling_imp:

They skipped nu because it sounds like “new” and xi because it’s a common last name, but all the other intervening letters have been taken. Those just didn’t end up going anywhere.

I pronounce it oh-mi-cron, because that’s how Lrrr pronounces it.

Thing is. I can’t imagine any reason why a vaccine CEO might be all “oh, this current vaccine is probably not so effective against Omicron, you will probably have to also get the new variant vaccine which we will sell you!” /sarcasm

(It might be true! But I’m going to wait until someone who doesn’t have a vested financial interest says it.)

BTW looking at the thread title, “The Omicron Variant” totally sounds to me like a title for a thriller or scifi novel.

I never took any Latin classes but I wonder if an ‘i’ is pronounced like most languages other than English, like ‘ee’ (or rhymes with ‘me’)?

It’s probably going to be more troublesome. Unlike Delta a new vaccine version will probably be needed. And while it may only be a few months until they can start production, it will probably take much longer to manufacture and distribute hundreds of millions of doses (let alone billions needed to vaccinate the world).

I’ve heard it was because of one specific individual:

Xi Jinping, the top government leader in China, who for some reason didn’t want a Covid strain named after him…

Well, it would be weird and awkward to name a covid again after a world leader. But the name is common enough they would probably have skipped it even without him.

This is certainly the message being peddled by more right-wing sources, evidently as proof that WHO is in bed with the Chinese Communist Party. That proof appears to be “because Ted Cruz said so.”

At this point, every adult in the US who wants to be vaccinated already is vaccinated. Many of us will want a Omicron jab if that becomes a thing, but that won’t really be a big problem. I think this might cause a month delay at best.