Sorry, Omicron — We Have a TRAVEL BAN
The news about the omicron variant was a given. If it weren’t omicron, it was always going to be some other variant. Everything mutates, and COVID mutates just enough to maintain its not-too-lethal-but-plenty-bad brand of chaos. More transmissible, more immune to vaccines, but not so scary as to get us to do anything real to stop it. That’s COVID’s brand.
I’m not worried. I mean, we have a travel ban. Remember how it saved us last time?
Hahahahahahahahaha. It was pathetic watching Trump take a victory lap on that one. “I was so quick to ban travel. No one banned travel as fast as I did.”
Banning travel is the emptiest of gestures. It’s like upgrading your long distance plan in a horror movie when the call is coming from inside the house. By all means, save $.10 / minute on the next call the maniac makes to tell you he’s going to kill you. That will show him.
How long does it take to parse a genome and figure out how many little bumps the virus has on its spike protein? It can’t be very quick. Point being: the virus has a head start. By the time you know it exists, it’s already gone around the world seven or eight times.
Then you ban travel from the wrong places, because: you don’t know. “No travel from Jina!” Sounds great to a racist (and hey, who doesn’t like blaming the Chinese for your problems?), but the virus was already circulating in passably Caucasian Italy. We got sucker-punched in the New York by a bunch of Europeans.
Then there’s the loopholes. There are always loopholes. No travel, but returning citizens are okay.
Limiting travel isn’t a bad move, but when you’re as woefully incompetent at stopping COVID as the US is, what fucking difference does it make? If even one case makes it in, we’ll turn that case into one million deaths in no time. It’s what we do.
We’d be better off with reverse psychology. Let’s offer anyone with the omicron strain a free ticket to the US. Omicron will get suspicious. “Wait a second… What are they up to? I don’t trust it. I’m going to make myself scarce so they don’t make another vaccine.”
Don’t worry, omicron. We seem pretty happy with what we got, even though it’s clearly stopped working. Some newly minted MBA has a spreadsheet showing Pfizer how much more lucrative it is to market boosters than it is to develop a whole new vaccine for delta.
There’s nothing left to do, but get ready for another round of this nonsense. In the words of the Dua Lipa, don’t start caring now.