According to a few hundred news stories, it’s not time to panic about Omicron. In other news, it’s never really time to panic about anything. Meanwhile, it turns out, the Omicron COVID variant was in Europe before South African scientists detected and flagged it to the world.

+ NYT (Gift Article): South Africa Deserves a Big, Fat Prize. “Travel bans won’t work if the variant has already spread widely and silently outside the targeted nations. But if they work even a little bit, it will be hard to persuade national governments not to impose them. Understandably, each government puts the health and safety of its own people first. There is a way out of this seeming impasse — one that would prevent the spread of the new variant while creating incentives for nations to detect and report future variants. The solution is money.” (Interesting. That’s also the solution USC’s football team used to try to stop sucking.)