Another article from the Guardian concerning the lifting of COVID protocols in England and some experts reactions:
Next Covid strain could kill many more warn scientists ahead of England restrictions ending.
Demands grow for government science chiefs to reveal evidence backing move to lift last protective measures
The dangers posed by accepting the widespread assumption that Covid-19 variants would continue to get milder in their impact was highlighted by epidemiologist Prof Mark Woolhouse, of Edinburgh University.
“The Omicron variant did not come from the Delta variant. It came from a completely different part of the virus’s family tree. And since we don’t know where in the virus’s family tree a new variant is going to come from, we cannot know how pathogenic it might be. It could be less pathogenic but it could, just as easily, be more pathogenic,” he said.
This point was backed by virologist Prof Lawrence Young of Warwick University. “People seem to think there has been a linear evolution of the virus from Alpha to Beta to Delta to Omicron,” he told the Observer. “But that is simply not the case. The idea that virus variants will continue to get milder is wrong. A new one could turn out to be even more pathogenic than the Delta variant, for example.”
Another COVID article from the New Yorker which dovetails with the above: Did Omicron Come from Mice?
Throughout the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has transmitted easily from humans to other species. Some scientists now believe that animals could spread new variants back to us.
While the search goes on for the origins of the Omicron variant, the differences between it and the Delta variant are too large to allow for a direct lineage.