Matter of time: It won’t be long before the dramatic expressions being used to describe the spread of Omicron come true in India. The first minister of Scotland calls it a tsunami, a French minister describes it spreading with lightning speed. And the numbers are saying more than metaphors could. They are climbing very rapidly indeed. And there’s no way India is going to be able to contain the spread now. Everyone is hoping this will not be much worse than the flu.
Scary spread: By current estimates, Omicron is spreading four times faster than did the first virus a year ago: to be expected considering it has twice as many hooks to get in and let go. These estimates believe it will end up infecting ten times as many people. And if it is only a tenth as dangerous, that means at least as much devastation, and as many deaths, as in earlier waves.
Hoping for the best: The Indian hope against Omicron is the sign of hope that has emerged from South Africa, that much of the population is far younger than the population of Europe. This time particularly, like any other time for happier reasons, is a good time to be young. But not forgetting the elderly population which, given India’s overall population, is a lot of people. There seems little preventive action local governments can take. And it is a little late for the government to ban all travel from abroad. The hope is that this will pass without much damage.
Omicron lands fierce blow to London: London is clearly and unavoidably first in the Omicron firing line in the UK. Faraway Scotland is a close second, unrelated through travel between the two, and neither related to travel from South Africa. London is emptying fast on the streets. Travel to work is as good as over, on official advice. The government oddly had not banned parties, merely advised people to be careful. That people are certainly being. Most parties appear to have been cancelled. For the second year running this will be a quiet Christmas.
Boris’s India visit may never happen: Ever since Boris Johnson became prime minister, the question has arisen when he will visit India. Two planned visits this year were cancelled. And next year? It may well be another prime minister for whom that question arises. After a series of scandals hit the Prime Minister’s office, that his own office no doubt invited, the vote against him by 100 MPs from his own party, and the kicking in the parliamentary by-election, not many believe he will be PM much longer.