What would have happened if Omicron was the original COVID strain?

I assume it would have ripped through the human population before any significant prevention methods were able to be implemented.

Considering how fast it’s spreading now, even with (at least partial) measures? Yeah, almost certainly.

I remember in March of 2020, some folks were still quoting outdated information saying that covid (the original strain) might have an R0 of as high as 7. I pointed out that if that number were correct, then the correct response would be to end all of the lockdowns, because everyone would have already been infected.

Definitely. You just have to look at the graphs of what’s happening in the US and EU. To put this in perspective, if you recall all of the press about the huge Indian outbreak that peaked in May, well, current the EU has topped that (much faster than it happened in India) and still shows no sign of slowing down…and the US is right on their heels (we haven’t quite topped India…yet…but I figure we will before this holiday is over, in 2 to 3 more days that is).

Had this been the original strain then basically by the time the Chinese decided to let the WHO say this was a real thing it would have been everywhere and racing through the world’s population. I wish I could paste in the graph I’m looking at, but if you go to this site and look under Confirmed Cases, Daily New Confirmed Cases and put in India, the EU, and the US in the Add Countries section you’ll see what I’m looking at. It’s pretty freaking grim. Put in the UK and France and you’ll see they are going up big time as well.

And in terms of where we’d be today? Presumably the deaths, hospitalizations, and just overall collective pain would have been magnified early on. But then would we have achieved herd immunity without vaccines, and would have we entered the “end state” or “new normal” sooner than this multi-year path we’ve been on?

Does the WHO operate under orders of the Chinese? I did not know this. Might we have a cite for this piece of info?

The trouble is that had it played out that way, we’d have gotten more mutations…and there is no way to predict the trajectory of those mutations. Sometimes, virus outbreaks mutate to less virulent and/or less deadly forms. Sometimes they go the other way.

I’d say that, had it played out this way with Omicron being the first version we’d have had a lot more deaths because we were completely unprepared. The hospitals would have been overwhelmed. I’m unsure if the CCP would have been able to successfully buy up a large percentage of PPE like they did before this thing broke, as this outbreak would have been much more rapid.

Also, I’m thinking we wouldn’t have had any chance to get a vaccination in effect before this thing went ballistic, which is the only thing mitigating the current outbreak. Overall, I’d say we’d be in very bad shape still, even though it’s possible we’d have some form of herd immunity…for THIS variant…by now, as a large percentage of people would have gotten this thing.

Of course, huge grain of salt for the above, as I’m a network engineer, not a virologist or doctor or even an EMT.

I didn’t think it was any big secret that China was withholding information about how bad things really were.

No…‘we’ might not have a cite for that. You can go look it up yourself if you aren’t aware of the CCP and WHO role…or not and just be skeptical or whatever it is you are. I’m done with this sort of ‘prove to me water is wet’ request for cites, as I find them disingenuous. And, frankly, I don’t care what folks think at this point about this part.

Of course China’s early reporting gave an incomplete picture. Complete pictures did not exist at that time. It takes time to figure out what the Hell is going on.

Or, the evidence that it’s a real thing would have accumulated much earlier, but you’d still have found a way to blame it all on China’s government :roll_eyes:

Isn’t Omicron less fatal than the original variant? While it appears it would have spread quicker, is it possible it would have been less deadly somehow?

My take is that new variants will evolve and emerge fairly predictably, but become less lethal over time (but still dangerous). Isn’t that how these things work? The virus does not do itself any good with a high fatality rate, right?


This is the quarantine zone. Please don’t make it personal. It you don’t want to reply to another poster, you are under no obligation to do so. But don’t announce that you don’t deem so-and-so worthy of a reply.

Maybe in the sense that it would do less damage to each individual who got it in a hypothetical world where treatment was equal; but our healthcare system would have collapsed under the strain of front-loading infections and we’d see many more people who’d have otherwise recovered die due to lack of hospital beds.

I didn’t say I deemed the poster unworthy…merely that I wasn’t going to be responding to those sorts of ‘cite’ requests. But ok, my apologies, and I’ll leave the thread. Especially since several posters have focused on that one part of my post.

Certainly. But that’s not at all like an assertion that China tells the WHO what they can and cannot do.

I don’t think “look it up yourself” flies here as a response to a request for a cite.

Well, maybe. Last I heard, the evidence on omicron’s severity is uncertain: A smaller proportion of those infected with omicron are dying, but it’s unknown how much of that is due to vaccines and better care.

And yes, there’s a tendency for pathogens to evolve to be less deadly, because a dead host won’t spread the pathogen. But covid, of any strain, already has a low enough lethality that any selective pressure to become even less lethal would be extremely weak.

No, that assertion is parroted from Donald Trump’s debunked claims when he pulled US funding from the WHO:

I did, and you’re full of it. See prior post. Oh wait, was I supposed to look it up on one of Rupert’s approved propaganda outlets?

Especially since covid is most infectious starting a few days before symptoms emerge, and tends to be less infectious by the time the illness gets serious, if it ever does.