Following this morning’s rant from the COVID-positive (and triple-vaxxed) Jim Cramer, and Tuesday afternoon’s public address from President Joe Biden begging unvaccinated Americans to please just go and get their jabs already, Microsoft billionaire (and self-appointed unofficial global vaccination czar) Bill Gates has just issued a few tweets changing his projections for how long the pandemic might actually last.

After saying a few months ago that he finally expected the ‘acute phase’ of the pandemic to end next year, Gates has apparently once again changed his mind about the pandemic’s longevity, proving once again that armchair experts (and even many of the real scientists) see their expectations shift with whatever the current case count is.

According to Gates, just when the world was finally feeling that life might soon return to normal, the surge in new cases over the past month (which has been partly driven by the rise of the omicron variant, which is now responsible for most new cases in the US, per the CDC) means the world might actually be entering “the worst part of the pandemic” instead.

“Omicron will hit home for all of us,” Gates said (despite claims that it actually causes more mild cases than the delta strain), adding that “close friends of mine now have it” and that he had cancelled his holiday plans and urged others to do the same because of it.

As if this one FUD bomb wasn’t big enough, Gates added that omicron was spreading “faster than any virus in history” and that it “will soon be in every country in the world.”

Here’s the big twist: According to Gates, “the big unknown” is how sick omicron makes people. And “we need to take it seriously” because “even if it’s only half as severe as delta, it will be the worst surge we have seen…because it’s so infectious.”

Despite all the breakthrough cases and revisions about the efficacy numbers, the vaccines are still working ” well” in Gates’s estimation.

Fortunately, there’s some “good news” at the end of the tunnel. Omicron appears to be moving so quickly, it should be over within three months.

Which actually sounds great, Bill. Except it sounds a little like “two weeks to stop the spread” to us.

Gates’ view of the nest phase wedges with JPMorgan’s Marki Kolanovic view that Omicron could be the “end of the pandemic.”

While it is likely that Omicron is more transmissible, early reports suggest it may also be less deadly – which would fit into the pattern of virus evolution observed historically. Should these trends be confirmed in the coming weeks, could the Omicron variant ultimately prove to be a positive for risk markets, in the sense that it could accelerate the end of the pandemic?

If a less severe and more transmissible virus quickly crowds out more severe variants, could the Omicron variant be a catalyst to transform a deadly pandemic into something more similar to seasonal flu? That development would fit with historical patterns (duration and number of waves) of previous respiratory virus pandemics, especially given the broad availability of vaccines and new therapeutics that are expected to work on all known variants (Pfizer, Merck).

And also, just in case you were wondering: Bill Gates will be spending his first post-divorce Christmas alone.

Republished from with permission

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