STOP me if you've heard this before.
Every few months, there's a news report about some "scary new variant" of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant, discovered in a "far off, distant land" (and they're always in "far off distant lands") is seen by someone the press describes as an "expert".
This expert "gets really, really scared" when he (and they're almost always a "he" if you haven't noticed) sees that this variant has "a large number of mutations" including "some we've never seen before" with "many appearing on the spike protein targeted by the vaccines".
Because of all this, this expert "sounds the alarm" because he's worried this "super scary variant" will "evade the vaccines" and render all the work we've done trying to contain SARS-CoV2 useless, meaning we'll have to "start from scratch" all over again.
Predictably, the media runs with this fear mongering for about a week, and the wider public gets scared because of how traumatic the COVID-19 experience has been.
So we lose our minds and again run around like Chicken Little and declare that "the sky is falling"...only for a week later to realize that this "scary new variant" really isn't as harmful as we thought it would be and/or has fizzled out into irrelevance.
So when the news came out about the variant we're now calling "omicron" (we're apparently skipping a letter in the Greek alphabet, as "nu" should be next) I was a little cynical about the sensationalism that arose because of it.
Don't get me wrong- I'm not dismissing the seriousness of the emergence of the omicron variant. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and the fact that people smarter than me in their fields are concerned about it means I need to take their words seriously.
I'm not downplaying any of that.
However, excuse me if I'm starting to feel like our health officials are starting to sound like they're crying "Wolf" a little too much, and I'm concerned they're not fully appreciating the impact of what they're doing.