Early Warning Signs Of "COVID-21"?
Disease Is Inevitable. Panic Is Not.
With Omicron seemingly signalling the end of COVID-19 pandemic panic, a reasonable question to ask is “What next?”
Will things finally return to a pre-pandemic “normal”?
Will new pathogens emerge to reset the narrative?
Will Omicron somehow mutate in a yet unexpected direction and revitalize the narrative?
At this time, the answers to all these and similar questions is “we do not know”. Yet if we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that information is the only antidote for pandemic panic and fear; we may not know what comes next, but we hopefully do know to be watchful. Logical analysis of facts as they arise will always be a superior alternative to surprise and blind panic.
Of a certainty, there are faint signals of what may lie ahead.
UK: From A Rash Of Omicron Cases To Cases Of Omicron Rash
Earlier this month, doctors in the UK began noting an unusual symptom they are associating with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2: a 'purpuric' rash.
As described by Dr. Nighat Arif, in children especially the rash appears on the extremities, in what are called “COVID fingers” and “COVID toes”, which Dr. Nighat describes as follows:
“You get these purplish bumps on toes and fingers which last after the virus actually gets better, after the 10-day period.”
While the rash can be painful, according to Dr Nighat, the rash is not a serious condition.
This is not a symptom that is broadly reported in the media, although local news outlets here in the US have reported on the unusual symptom even before Omicron (raising the question of how exactly this is an “Omicron” symptom). The rash apparently is more of an indication of an overaggressive immune system response than a direct result of infection.
It’s not a very common or dangerous complication, but it’s caused by inflammation to the blood vessels in your fingers or toes, and it's directly linked to the virus.
As subscribers to my Minds and Telegram channels are aware, there is pre-Omicron research indicating the SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks the immune system before it invades lung tissue, which may explain the circulatory-related pathologies associated with COVID-19. COVID fingers and toes, as an inflammatory response, appear to be in line with that research.
While the rash is not a harbinger of future life-threatening symptoms, we should take note of such symptoms so as not to be surprised if (when?) the media begins to amplify such stories as a means to revitalize the failing pandemic panic narrative.
Sudan: The WHO Won't Say What The Mystery Killer Is
While the world is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reports of a new “mystery illness” making its presence known in South Sudan, killing at least 97 people.
The illness has so far claimed the lives of 97 people in Fangak, Jonglei State, in the northern part of South Sudan. On Thursday, Fangak County Commissioner Biel Boutros Biel said an elderly woman’s death came as a result of an unidentified illness. South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has said that the disease has mainly affected the elderly and children under 14. It is also said that the symptoms of the mysterious illness include cough, diarrhoea, fever, headaches, joint pain, loss of appetite, body weakness, and chest pain.
Although the WHO investigated the outbreak, the organization has yet to specify what the disease is. Cholera--a bacterial infection that can emerge after catastrophic flooding such as what South Sudan has recently experienced--has apparently been ruled out.
By characterizing the illness as a “mystery”, the reporting also seemingly rules out any variant, new or existing, of SARS-CoV-2. Yet the fever and body aches are undeniably “flu like”. Why a fresh COVID-19 outbreak is not indicated the reporting does not say.
It is far too soon to even suggest that this is a precursor to a future pandemic. Still, as a “mystery illness”, it deserves mention on the off chance the pathogen does spread and develops pandemic potential, or at least a fresh pandemic narrative.
Ohio: People Are Sick With “Not-COVID” And “Not-flu”
Closer to home, an unknown number of patients in Ohio are developing a mystery influenza-like illness that tests negative for both COVID-19 and seasonal Influenza.
While the illness may be even milder than Omicron, the concern among healthcare professionals is stated as being the impact of additional burden to hospital and healthcare infrastructures.
Charles Patterson, Clark County Combined Health District's Health commissioner, explains there's no way to know how many confirmed cases of this illness are in the state since there's no case definition for it yet.
While it doesn't seem to cause any severe illness that requires hospitalization, Patterson says it's starting to impact the overall health of our communities.
With no hospitalizations or reported deaths, the mystery Ohio illness is seemingly unremarkable. However, we should be mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic began as a “pneumonia of unknown etiology” in Wuhan, presumably in December of 2019. It is in these seemingly minor stories that the seeds of a narrative are sown.
“Virus Gonna Virus”
As Alex Berenson is fond of saying so pithily, “virus gonna virus”. Sickness and disease did not start with COVID-19. Sickness and disease will not end with COVID-19. As these bits of news illustrate, regardless of when this pandemic passes—even if it has already passed—there will still be infectious respiratory pathogens both new and old rising up to attack the vulnerable.
Indeed, if the COVID-19 proves anything about the power of modern medicine, it is that modern medicine is a good deal less capable than the “experts” have been willing to admit. Scientists do not have all the answers, and may not even have all the questions.
Only time will tell if these news stories are the early warnings of the next great pandemic. What these stories should remind us is that infectious respiratory disease, like death and taxes, is inevitable. Future pandemics—be they “COVID-21”, “COVID-22” or some other equally arbitrary name—are inevitable.
The panic and hysteria that has attended upon COVID-19, however, was never inevitable. With critical thinking and independent analysis of the facts, whatever they may be, we can (and should) do better than that.