When we talk about the word ‘omicron’ these days, some could be emotional. Here, I am going to discuss three points:
First, it is the pronunciation. According to an article of The Telegraph, it might not be as straight forward to correctly pronounce this new variant of SARS-CoV-2; but in general, the pronunciation the Greek alphabet, O, is fairly common in Hong Kong. Yet, in Britain, it is quite interesting to note that some might say it differently, as suggested by the Cambridge Dictionary.
Second, some latest articles (up till 7 January 2022) questioned the infectivity and/or severity of the omicron variant; examples of the articles include 1) Omicron’s feeble attack on the lungs could make it less dangerous from Nature; 2) Early lab studies hint Omicron may be milder. But most scientists reserve judgment from Science; 3) Omicron: South Africa says fourth wave peak has passed as it lifts curfew from The BMJ. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the third booster of COVID-19 vaccines has also been evaluated, as in Omicron variant and booster COVID-19 vaccines from The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. I believe that those preliminary observations and research findings should lead us closer to the truth soon. At least, I personally believe that the third booster of the vaccine is likely to be useful.
Third, according to Prof KY Yuen, for a pandemic, there should be an end. Considering the Spanish Flu, the pandemic lasted for approximately three years. On 24 December 2020, I mentioned that a virus, including SARS-CoV-2, could evolve to be more infectious but less deadly. Although, I still believe in it, I have to emphasize that it is definitely a tough process: many might get seriously ill and some might even die.
Nevertheless, there are still some hopes that the pandemic will eventually disappear, or COVID-19 will become similar to seasonal flu. I am not sure whether it occurs after three years or at the end of 2022; but we ought to be optimistic!