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Is resistance against Omicron futile?


The individual risk assessment is becoming more and more complex. The possibly endless vaccination debate. And current developments from research: our Corona weekly overview.

Timo Lenzen/ DER SPIEGEL

Dear readers,

I have so far followed a simple strategy for my personal risk assessment in the pandemic: I adhered to the measures applicable in my state (unless visits to risk groups aka parents were imminent, I was even more cautious). That was enough for me because my head of state, Hamburg's first mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD), is one of the few prime ministers who is a doctor and seemed to have a working direction finder at all times during the pandemic (which may also have been due to the fact that Tschentscher identified himself as a only prime minister had constant advice from scientists, as my colleagues found out a few weeks ago). I felt safe with this strategy.

But does that still work in the face of Omikron? For example, does it really still make sense to go to a restaurant to eat? 2G plus applies in Hamburg, so as a boosted person I can dine out without any problems. There, however, I may meet people who have only been vaccinated twice and have gotten the plus by taking a rapid test that is updated daily. But how reliable are these tests at Omikron? My colleague Julia Merlot investigated this question (you can read the result here). Recent findings by the virologist Isabella Eckerle show that a number of rapid tests do not detect Omicron even with a high viral load.

In an interview with Wirtschaftswoche, she said "that many tests do not even recognize highly positive samples, although the patients from whom the samples come were very likely already contagious".

It is therefore possible that someone who receives a negative rapid test result in the morning is already infectious in the economy in the evening.

Her quintessence: »Omicron will probably catch everyone«.

This assessment is consistent with other reports this week.

The WHO warned that, given the explosive spread of omicron, more than 50 percent of the population of Europe will be infected with the new variant in the next six to eight weeks.

As a "Star Trek" fan, one is inevitably reminded of the alien species of the Borg, who rule the Delta Quadrant with the battle cry "Resistance is futile".

After all, the vaccination protects against a severe course, as the data available en masse due to the extreme number of cases proves more and more clearly.

For most vaccinated people, omicron infection is no worse than a cold.

I just trust that now.

Just like my previous strategy for personal risk assessment.

The new SPIEGEL, now digital and tomorrow at the kiosk

"A Quantum of Fear: How compulsory vaccination divides the country and politics," is the title of the new SPIEGEL.

The issue is now available digitally and from Saturday at the kiosk.

The most important developments regarding Omikron

Delta is at the end, the Omikron wall is there

Omikron has been dominant in Germany since the beginning of 2022, as shown by RKI data.

It prevailed particularly early in the north and is driving the number of infections there to new highs.

Why is that?

US immunologist Fauci on Omicron: "The virus did what viruses tend to do: It surprised us"

The number of infections is skyrocketing, but the courses are milder.

Anthony Fauci, adviser to the US President, warns against playing down Omicron - and at the same time gives hope for an end to the pandemic.

New virus variant: How reliable are rapid tests for an omicron infection?

Minister of Health Lauterbach wants to have it checked how well rapid tests recognize Omikron.

Until his list is complete, all tests recommended so far remain useful.

What to watch out for when using it.

International data comparison: the omicron teachings from South Africa, London and the rest of the world

The number of corona cases is reaching unprecedented levels in many places.

Severe courses, on the other hand, seem to occur less frequently.

But how well can the findings be transferred to Germany?

Omikron in Kenya: Everyone suddenly had "the flu"

In Kenya, the Omikron wave is already flattening out again.

There were hardly any measures against the virus – but the catastrophe did not happen.

What can be learned from it.

Omicron wave in the USA: The hospital collapse

Many clinics in the USA are on the attack.

The number of patients and employees infected with Covid-19 is increasing.

Some houses therefore leave beds empty – or bring sick employees back.

The never ending compulsory vaccination story

Debate on compulsory vaccination: "We are all so exhausted and irritated as a society"

The German Ethics Council recommends expanding the statutory vaccination requirement.

Chairwoman Alena Buyx reports on intensive discussions - and mentions the requirements for such a measure that have not yet been met.

Dispute over the law on compulsory vaccination: FDP accuses the Union of lacking initiative

The law on compulsory vaccination should be drawn up by the factions in the Bundestag across parties – so far, however, there have been no applications.

Now the Union and the FDP are arguing about who should take the first step.

Debate in the Bundestag: Lauterbach waives its own application for compulsory corona vaccination

The traffic light wants compulsory vaccination.

The law should come from the middle of the Bundestag.

Minister of Health Lauterbach could submit an application as a member of parliament - now he told SPIEGEL why he will not do it.

Scholz on compulsory vaccination: the chancellor's counterattack

How is Olaf Scholz leading in the pandemic?

For the first time, the Chancellor faces the members of the Bundestag - and advocates compulsory vaccination.

When the AfD provokes, he becomes almost emotional.

Fighting pandemics: This is the status of the dispute over compulsory vaccination

In the dispute over compulsory vaccination, the pressure on Olaf Scholz is growing - not only from the opposition.

What suggestions are there?

Why is the Chancellor's schedule in jeopardy?

The most important questions and answers.

Covid-19 in global numbers

  • Confirmed cases: 320,582,906

  • Deaths: 5,522,703

  • Germany: 7,835,451 confirmed cases, 115,337 deaths

    Sources: CSSE/Johns Hopkins University, as of January 14, 2022, 11:21 a.m.;

    Robert Koch Institute, as of January 14, 2022, 3:20 a.m

News from research

Protection against Covid-19: The US Army's miracle vaccine

A US military research institute is testing a corona vaccine that is intended to protect against infections with a large number of virus variants.

The first tests on humans have already taken place.

Study from the USA: Does the risk of diabetes increase for children after Covid disease?

The US health authority has investigated whether children are more likely to develop diabetes after a corona infection.

The result: a greatly increased risk.

At first glance, this seems alarming, but there is criticism of the study.

Covid-19 study: Vaccination protects well against inflammatory syndrome in adolescents

After a Sars-CoV-2 infection, children and adolescents very rarely develop Pims.

A new study shows how effective full vaccination is at preventing them.

What else was important

Laboratories at the limit: "In the long run, it's not possible for everyone to test themselves as they wish."

Omikron has caused the need for PCR tests to skyrocket.

The evaluating laboratories are reaching their limits.

In addition, callers who don't get it fast enough complain.

Laboratory operator Thomas Fenner explains what he is doing now.

Child psychologist on the consequences of the pandemic: "School pressure is what burdens many most"

Social workers instead of zoo vouchers: With a view to the dramatic problems of many young patients, psychologist Julian Schmitz calls for massive investments in the education and mental health of the youngest.

Business ideas in the crisis: »Corona gave us a boost of a factor of five«

The Corona period has kept many people from founding a company.

Some who have dared now attribute their success to the pandemic.

How does it work?

Protest actions against angry citizens: Anger at the angry

extremists and opponents of vaccination characterize the rallies on pandemic policy, also because they often disregard assembly requirements.

Now the straight-thinkers are showing up on the street – with unusual campaigns.

Have a nice weekend

Yours, Mikhail Hengstenberg

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-01-14

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