The XBB.1.5 Variant Is The Next Big COVID Thing
A grandson of Ba.2 is taking over unusually rapidly
For the last six months or so, we have had a lot of Covid infections everywhere, and the dominant variant was Omicron Ba.5. This changed recently within about four weeks when a new clade called XBB.1.5 showed up and became the largest circulating variant nearly overnight. Per CDC variant tracker:
In the Northeastern regions of the US, which usually lead with new variants, XBB.1.5 is already fully dominant and comprises 75% of cases:
Hospitalizations, sadly, follow this variant as well. New York hospitalizations are up significantly:
Hospitalizations are also up in Massachusetts, way past summer levels:
Cases are up also, per MA wastewater report for Boston:
Note that, coincidentally, US Northeast is a very highly vaccinated region - and yet it is home to another outbreak that is already outstripping the Ba.5 wave. Another victory of safe and effective COVID vaccines! (just kidding)
The officials did not expect this surge, but it is here:
XBB.1.5 is an offshoot of Ba.2
XBB variant is an offshoot of Ba.2, which went through the USA this spring and has now returned.
Despite promises of “miltilayered hybrid immunity” from vaccinations and multiple reinfections, there is no immunity in sight. This is already the seventh wave of Covid in New York.
The chart below shows that XBB.1.5 is the sneakiest variant ever to evade vaccinated immunity (an oxymoron by now). It also has a great affinity to ACE2, so very likely it will be able to infect the lungs and the cardiovascular system with worse outcomes than previous Omicron variants.
Overall, it feels like we are entering another major Covid wave. It will prove worse than last summer’s wave, and the most frustrating part here is that Covid is not going away.
The authorities are predictable:
New York is experiencing its seventh wave of Covid, despite (and actually because of) its draconian COVID vaccination mandates that created a perfect breeding ground of people who cannot develop immunity to Covid, reinfecting each other.
Soon XBB.1.5 will be coming to a neighborhood near you.
Some of you would say, who cares, it is just a cold. If Covid was mild for you, congratulations. It was relatively mild for me, also. However, it was not just a cold for many people I know personally, and it was not just a cold for many of my subscribers, also. This was also serious to this Twitter user:
If I could suggest how to stay healthy, it would be to get exercise, get some sunlight if possible, take reasonable vitamins, and stock up on proper Covid medications in advance. This is all that we can do.
Any other health suggestions?
If any of your associates had Covid recently, how did it go? Is Ivermectin still useful?
Please share your experience but be mindful of people’s privacy!