There is no dearth of travel woes. Airlines and hotels have been guilty of shady practices in the past, but now there are new worries: artificial intelligence systems on your personal data. With a lack of regulation surrounding this industry, users need to be more aware than ever before when they’re planning their next trip.,
Omicron may not be the last of Covid-19’s travel woes.
on January 18, 2022 by Gary Leff
Travel was booming back before the Omicron variation took hold. The Delta wave of the virus caused delays in office reopenings, but immunizations, particularly those that had been increased, were holding up effectively against infection. In the New Year, there was a general consensus that businesses would return to the office – and to business travel.
However, the rapid spread of Omicron has resulted in such widespread infection that people’s habits are altering and travel is declining. TSA data shows that throughput has dropped from within 10% of pre-pandemic levels on certain days to much, much lower on others.
We just need to pass past Omicron now, according to the current thinking. After the Omicron wave, the industry is preparing for a return to normalcy. There is optimism that more borders will reopen, that more workers will return to work, that regular travel will resume, and that there will be some provided intertemporal substitution – that individuals who have been avoiding travel for a long period will rapidly make up for it.
Several assumptions underpin this idea, which are very much the ‘base case,’ yet are far from certain.
- Omicron is spreading so swiftly that there will be such a large wall of immunity in place that the virus will propagate at much lower levels in the future.
- In addition, variant-specific boosters will be available, which will be more effective in preventing infection and symptomatic illness.
- When patients do receive Covid, we’ll have therapies to keep them out of the hospital (Paxlovid).
To put it another way, after we “get through” Omicron, we’re “done” and can return to regular life, with the danger of Covid-19 being just one of many hazards we face on a daily basis. That is the optimism, which seems to be very fair to believe, but is far from guaranteed. This is the narrative in which something does not occur.
- Omicron infection may not truly guard against Delta infection, so it doesn’t provide the barrier of immunity we’re expecting for – at least not for individuals who haven’t been vaccinated.
For individuals who have been vaccinated, Omicron infection improves protection against Delta, but not for those who have not been immunized. So get vaccinated to lessen your chances of getting a Delta illness later on! And stop a second Delta wave from resurfacing! https://t.co/dVhrKCYQRq
January 17, 2022 — Tom Wenseleers (@TWenseleers)
“Omicron infection boosts pre-existing immunity produced by vaccinations, but it may not be enough to establish widespread, cross-neutralizing humoral response in unprotected people.” @GladstoneInst @WvMt69xN6e https://t.co/WvMt69xN6e Immunity wall generated only from Omicron infections has implications pic.twitter.com/kmceu2lmWQ
January 18, 2022 — Eric Topol (@EricTopol)
- Rather of the less virulent Omicron taking root and becoming dominant, Omicron recedes as a result of so much earlier infection, and the more hazardous Delta eventually becomes dominant. Or, since there isn’t enough cross-immunity between both, they essentially co-circulate, and we’ll have to deal with both in the future. Even if none can match the infectiousness of previous waves, the two combined provide enough background infection to significantly impede the return to travel.
- While it’s unlikely that we’ll see more variants that spread faster than Omicron or evade the immune system in different ways than the ones we’ve seen (Omicron’s tricks aren’t entirely new, they just weren’t as fast-spreading in previous incarnations), those that do will continue to evade vaccination and prior infection immunity.
- We’re evaluating variation-specific boosters, but they could not be as successful as we wanted (we don’t know yet), or they might work well against the variant they’re targeting but not as well across multiple strains as vaccines that have remained focused on the original Wuhan strain. Perhaps we’ll be able to make multivariant Covid vaccinations available (as we do with flu).
- Paxlovid has dangerous interactions with some drugs and isn’t recommended for everyone. It’s also only useful after someone has already identified an infection to keep them out of the hospital, which necessitates a medical consultation and testing, as well as the kind of diligence that most people lack – so while it has the potential to allow us to ‘live with Covid,’ human behavior may not adapt well enough to do so.
For the time being, boosters are our best option. A fourth dosage does not seem to restore vaccine sterilizing efficiency to pre-Omicron levels, but if you receive boosted, you’re definitely well protected against serious complications.
Impact of cases vs. impact on severe disease/hospital or ICU admits/death in Israel https://t.co/W4uB9n7J2Y pic.twitter.com/09ddGDQiHC
January 18, 2022 — Eric Topol (@EricTopol)
Switzerland now records fatalities according on booster status.
The COVID death rate is 9 times lower after complete immunization and 48 times lower following a booster vaccine when compared to unprotected persons.
[From https://t.co/EozbccWmuj, our piece with @maxcroser on mortality rates by vaccination status] pic.twitter.com/ozWueyHO2k
January 17, 2022 — Edouard Mathieu (@redouad)
My biggest frustration is that my kid isn’t yet five years old and hence cannot get vaccinated. Pfizer’s study was halted because the vaccine was safe (it’s just a tenth of an adult dosage), but it didn’t provide adequate protection in children aged 2, 3, and 4, so they’re trying a third dose. Even in children, however, Omicron seems to be less severe. There is more hospitalization because of the spread, but even those instances seem to be less dangerous, and an unvaccinated youngster is at a lower risk than an older American who has been vaccinated.
We’ll reach to a point where we can coexist with Covid-19. The Omicron wave, which is expected to infect around 40% of the nation in a couple of weeks, seems to be the virus’ last attempt at restricting travel. It isn’t, however, a predetermined conclusion. I’m hopeful, but not as hopeful as Delta CEO Ed Bastian was on his company’s recent earnings call, nor as hopeful as I anticipate American and United to be during theirs this week.