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There's a certain portion of the population who won't let go of the virus. They want as many vaccines and boosters as they come. The truth is the variants are more like a mild flu case, according to international data. Can't deny it anymore.
I think it's still to early to say that will be the actual impact.
The problem with Omicron, even if it is only "flu like" is that so many people are catching it.
Normally a few thousand die every year (2-8k/yr in Canada) with a flu and without overwhelming our hospitals.
If the flu vaccine is well matched for the year it is very effective.

I just saw that Ontario was up to 0.1% of the population testing positive in a single day, and we're tight on testing capacity. It is clearly endemic, we're all going to get it, likely within the month.
The problem is that even with a ICU hospitalization rate of 20/100k (0.02%) (which from memory is at the lower end of current Omicron data), that means nearly 3000 hospitalizations in Ontario, which is almost 150% of our total ICU capacity. Also consider that if everyone get "flu-like" symptoms at the same time, our hospitals will be short staffed.

I think right now we're at the lowest personal risk since the pandemic began, and the highest system-overload risk.
Right now is when we need to "flatten the curve", which nobody wants to hear about.

That being said, anecdotally I'm seeing.
People who are not sick aren't isolating, lots of holiday gatherings.
Also I've seen a lot of people who are sick are isolating

I think for people who've been under restrictions on and off for 2 years, they're somewhat reasonable in my little window into the world. I'm more cautious, but in some places they're far less cautious.

My plan, I don't want to get sick until the end of the month.. I think I'm going to skip a social engagement this weekend, like I did over the holidays, I don't want to be at the peak of this next wave.

For data, I'm going to watch jurisdictions which aren't restricting tests and see what happens. As someone in Ontario, I'm going to watch Quebec since they seem to lead and be doing slightly worse than Ontario.
 

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And I am seeing my son, his wife and and my grandson with Omicron. Doing well so far, and a close friend, his wife, daughter, SIL, and grand daughter all with Omicron. Also doing well.

Of note, the SIL took a home test that was negative but he went for a PCR test and was positive.
It's important to note that the home kits (rapid antigen) have a horrible false negative rate, assuming they're even done correctly.

They're ok at saying you have COVID, but simply aren't reliable to say you DON'T have COVID, which is unfortunately how people are using them.

The false sense of security is a big problem, I had this concern with vaccination, and now it's repeating with home based testing.
 

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Yes there was a quote from the US media that home tests were only 50% accurate at detecting positive cases. That leads to horrible conclusions that lead to more spreading by the false negatives. Whose idea was this?
The "experts".

The same ones that say "get vaxxed and you don't need to wear a mask"
 

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PCR tests, on the other hand, give accurate positive and negative results. But we now have to conserve these tests to be able to screen healthcare and other essential workers.
I'm not sure, I know someone who had a close contact before Christmas, they had 3 Negative PCR tests, then their whole family got positive rapidtest results, so it is anecdotal, but maybe the PCR isn't that great either.
 

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What is interesting that vaccines were sold to public as the way to get out of this mess during the summer.
They were lying.

The experts said a vaccine likely won't be enough back in May-Jul 2020, go look at my posts.
- I'm referring to real experts in virology, not politically compromised appointees.

The concern was the number of variants that Coronaviruses spits out, it just mutates too fast.
Here we are, the number of variants is too high, the vaccine we have doesn't really fit Omicron.

We got darn lucky that the initial vaccine seemed to cover Delta and previous variants so well.
 

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Yep, pretty much the same as flu vaccine. Hit or miss.
And this year they missed completely, which will add to the problem. They made vaccine for completely different strain than the one circulating now.
Not really, it was always a slim chance that COVID would be mutate slowly.
Flu normally doesn't mutate as quickly.

Many experts doubted an effective vaccine would be created, and nobody competent thought that a vaccine alone would end this. The most troubling part is that those in power felt it was okay to lie to the people.
 

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Looks like people need a quick lesson in immunology 102.
yeah... but

In this case the vaccine seems to have very weak protection against the current Omicron strain, unless a dose was received recently.
The really good part is that Omicron provides good protection against Delta. It is looking like this is the "weaker faster spreading strain" I expected would "end" the pandemic.

With many people in hospitals in oxygen, it's a bit too dangerous IMO, but at least they're not filling ICU's.
 

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In this case the vaccine seems to have very weak protection against the current Omicron strain, unless a dose was received recently.
You have to define protection to what. Weak protection to break through infection? Yeah, infection rates are probably similar to unvaccinated. Weak protection to ICU and death? Not at all.
I meant weak protection as significantly less than the protection against other variants.

From your snippet
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Which is also backed up in the table. FYI an odds ratio of 1 means "no difference". 0.98 means "almost no difference", which means that after 4 months the vaccine has no effect.
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Similarly the HR against hospitalization has very wide confidence bands, and suggests that after 6 months the protection against hospitalization offered by the vaccines is much, by could be slightly better, or much worse.

FYI, the conceptualization of "Odds Ratio" isn't very intuitive.
I really don't think it should be used in papers intended for application. Mathematically it's great, but from the application side for "end users" (ie physicians & policymakers) it's "confusing"


Here is a nice layman accessible description of some recent studies. Really simple summary "maybe Omicron is the strain that ends the pandemic"
 

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@MrMatt don't get too hung up on symptomatic disease.
I'm not, I'm concerned up on spread.

I think symptomatic disease is a better proxy for viral shedding/spread than hospitalization.


Right now most estimates are Ontario has 1-3% with symptomatic COVID, it's very possible that we could have a few million active cases by mid-month, at which point we will overload out hospitals.
With most Ontarians >24weeks out, the vaccine HR is only 0.5, which is going to keep a lot out of hospitals, but that might not be enough once we get 2M+ cases

If we had vaccinated everyone in Oct/Nov, the lower OR for symptomatic might have helped reduce spread and maybe we wouldn't hit 1M cases. But that's off the table.

Fortunately it seems most hospitalizations only need supplemental oxygen (not ventilators). Assuming we don't get a shortage (like they did in India) it might be okay.
 

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"Over the next few weeks, all sectors are likely to see about 20 to 30 per cent of workers calling in sick, Moore said. "

That's the concern.
That level of people out will dramatically cut the ability of everything to function.
The hospitals won't have capacity.

Also that's why they're doing home school, they don't expect the teachers to show up to work, they'll be sick.
 

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Exactly. The problem is not number of people going to hospital. That is barely increasing (evident wherever incidental covid cases are broken down). The issue are isolation rules.
Glad those are being changed from 10 to 5 or even to 0 in some cases. Just one more step to change it to 0 for everyone and this pandemic is officially over - it will be an endemic from there on
Well I think the number of people going into hospital is one concern, widespread callouts is another.

The US had 1M cases, assuming they're missing some case, I think it's safe to assume North America today is getting about 0.3-0.5% of population new cases/day. I think that's a reasonable, possibly lower side estimate.

That's 2-3% maybe 4% of the total population getting sick in a week. If you're sick or isolating for 2 weeks, that's almost 10% of the workforce gone.

If you start assuming spread will ramp up geometrically (as it does with viral spread), I don't think the concerns about 20-30% of staff being out sick at some point are too unrealistic.
At that point it's bare bones services at hospitals and people won't get care, we'll see large staffing issues at many companies. Schools wouldn't be workable. Public transit, emergency services etc, garbage collection, grocery store/supply chain they'll all be running at a very basic level.

This week should let us know what happened over the holidays, I expect it will be "bad".
Next week will let us know if we're really in trouble or not, I think it will be bad, but not as bad as the data from this week would suggest.

Maybe it's nothing, but it might be bad, I'm risk adverse and I'm planning to hunker down and see what happens.
I don't want to slip and fall and need to go to the ER, I don't want any more exposure risk than I currently have.
I'll wait till we're over this wave if I can.
 

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Several places are seeing staff absences in the 10-30% range.
CNN had an article (lost the link) but it was 30% EMS, 21% Police 17% Fire department.

Windsor area hospitals reported their employee absence rate is 5x normal.

Hospitalization is spiking fast.
I think Hospitalization is a good proxy for how many people are getting sick with COVID, and hence how much it's spreading.
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I'm honestly not too concerned with Omicron itself, I'm concerned what happens with 20-30%+ absence rate.
That's a lot of chaos
 

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Winnipeg has a severe shortage of police right now, due to sickness.

BC's Public Health is warning that up to 1/3 of employees might soon be out sick with covid.
Yet they opened up the schools, how many days till they'll close because the teachers got sick?

I much prefer Ontario who closed them from the start.
It's easy enough to look at any jurisdiction with a spiking Omicron rate and see the problems they have.
 

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That appears to be the biggest issue. I have heard by rumour that some major hospitals have 30% of the staff out with positive tests. I believe that is why jurisdictions have been adopting the 5 day isolation rule. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary decisions.
I watched part of Ford press conference, he was very clear that the reasons he is shutting schools and imposing harsh measures is the staffing problem.
Of course the media went with all sorts of other stories, really focusing on schools and other clickbait items.
They pretty much ignored the simple fact that if people are too sick to work, the systems will stop working.

The 20-30% callout rates are a reality for some jobs in some areas.
EMS & Police have good numbers coming out of the US.
I've heard similar numbers for some hospitals, but Canada isn't there yet, though they're redeploying staff to accommodate the influx.

Even if you have "flu like symptoms", ie coughing, sneezing, fever etc, and aren't "going to die", you're still too sick to work, and that's a problem.
 

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This isn't just a problem of people out sick with minor symptoms, or staffing concerns. Many people are ending up in hospital too.
Yes, hospitalization is a huge issue, but people aren't listening.
They don't realize that even with a much lower hospitalization rate, if you dramatically increase the number of cases you still have a problem with overload.

Also staffing is a HUGE issue. It is one thing if 1-2% are out sick, that's around normal and we can accommodate it.
10,20,30% that has a notable impact on capacity/quality.
 

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Ontario’s fourth wave is approaching the third wave peak for hospitalizations, but is currently further behind in ICU.

In terms of vaccination status, for those in general hospital wards with COVID, 436 were unvaccinated, 96 were partially vaccinated and 1,156 were fully vaccinated. For patients in ICUs, 123 were unvaccinated while 28 were partially vaccinated and 87 were fully vaccinated.
Your numbers are a few hundred short for hospital admissions.
Also it's the 5th wave. unless you ignore the fourth wave that happened at the end of this summer.
 

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It's definitely fast spreading now, daily case counts drawf all the previous waves by a significant margin. I know two people that got it this week. Gonna be a sad month or two coming up. Not sure which will have a worse impact, a large % of people being off sick or hospitals overrun ... likely a combination of both I guess.
Many places are seeing 30% reduction in staffing, which means hospital capacity is way below normal.

10% of the kids in my kids classes have COVID (they handed out tests before the break) We're all glad it's online school, as much as we dislike online school

I'm literally not leaving the house, except to get the mail.
 

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In my case, I just don't want any of my family members to end up having to visit a hospital or clinic. Although I earlier planned to visit my parents, I'm calling that off, and will not visit them until this wave is over.
I've heard more people say "It's milder, I just want to get it over and done with".
If you want to go down this path (which IMO is dumb), wait a month or at least a few weeks and see what things look like.

Friend of mines parents have had Covid for almost 2 weeks, they're at home, but in rough shape. 60's, double vaxxed with boosters.
 

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Government solution...do nothing to increase hospital capacity for 2 years during a pandemic...instead give our Indians $40,000,000,000.
To be fair, Trudeau thinks he'll win votes with that. But it's kind of off topic for this thread.
Secondly I don't think the Federal government should be funding provincial responsibilities.
 
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