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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Could Omicron be the end?

29 November 2021

If you read the headline for today's column and went no further you could be forgiven for thinking I was a doomsayer.

However, there's a possibility that Omicron could be a good thing, a very good thing.

Right now, little is known about this new variant of the SARS2 Covid 19 virus except that it appears to be far more transmissible than the Delta strain or those which have come before it. There is no formal analysis of the severity of the symptoms or the death toll associated with this new version of our favourite pandemic-inducing virus but there are some early indications that it could be the thing that actually ends the pandemic.

Yes, that's right, as the world cowers in fear of yet a new threat, some very preliminary reports seem to indicate that Omicron might be far more transmissible but far less dangerous in terms of its effects on the heath of those infected. If this is the case, it could be the immunising form of the virus that will provide the world's population with lasting protection against the more dangerous strains.

According to a couple of reports, one of which is from that oracle of a publication The Daily Mail, Omicron produces relatively mild symptoms and no loss of smell or breathing issues.

If this really is the case then we should perhaps all rejoice and have a big Christmas Covid party.

Of course the anti-vaxers will be especially happy (well at least those that are still alive) because they will claim "we told you so... we don't need your steenken vaccine!".

Should Omicron turn out to be the super-weak but super-transmissible variant we'd hoped for, the Covid 19 pandemic could be over as quickly as it started and life might finally get back to normal. Face masks, vaccine passports and "signing in" every 30 seconds of the day may soon become things of the past -- interesting tales that today's kids will tell their grandkids in another 50 year's time.

Of course there's always the far less attractive option that omicron is just as dangerous (if not more so) as Delta and if this is established then it's almost certain that NZ will go to "condition red" immediately with significant disruption to the summer's activities.

Right now, only time will tell which way things swing so in the meantime, those annoying facemasks will only get more annoying as the days get longer and hotter.

I for one am looking forward to a very quiet Christmas with the old-sheila, a glass or two of ice-cold beer and a few pleasant, relaxing days in the shade on the nicely private back lawn.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to let the world pass by and enjoy a little solitude and rest.

What are your Christmas plans and have they been affected at all by the pandemic?

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