Coronavirus Update #56 – This audiocast is a deeper dive into covid and children’s mental health.
In my opinion, our children’s mental and physical health need to take primacy over pandemic fear at this time. We will dive deeply here. Also, Omicron’s sibling is the new variant BA.2. It appears to be very very similar to Omicron from the same lineage genetically with 50 amino acid changes. It is more infectious by 10-30% by most recent data. No data that it is more deadly to date in humans although a preprint article from a Japanese research group noted that in an animal model the disease is worse than BA.1 Omicron. (Yamasoba et. al. 2022) They noted more cellular fusion increasing infectivity and also more lung cell infection increasing morbidity. The immune protection from BA.1 against BA.2 was reduced by 6X. This does not mean that humans will respond the same way as the animal model results. It bears watching. So far, I have seen no data that humans are suffering worse disease. United States BA.2 numbers remain less than 10% likely due to the quality immunity achieved following the massive Omicron BA.1 surge the past 8 weeks. Our T and B cell immunity from BA.1 should serve to protect most of us from any issues with BA.2. Time will tell, but so far so good.