Tamay Besiroglu

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Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

To be clear, I'm not proposing a bet that no newly emerging variants are going to be consequential. I'm interesting in making a much narrower claim about the global reach of Omicron.

Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

Yea. Gamma was the dominant strain in Brazill, Luxembourg, Chile,  Argentina, and a few other places in early-to-mid 2021, but never become the dominant strain in the US. Similarly for Lambda in Peru, Mu in Colombia, 20B/S:732A in Mexico, 20A/S:439K in Slovenia, 20E in Lithuania, and a handful of other strains in some other countries. This is all from Covariants.org. Many of these countries do roughly as much sequencing as SA does, so it seems like an appropriate reference class for thinking about Omicron.

Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

Thanks for writing this, I found it useful.

> Chance that Omicron will displace Delta: 70%.

I think this is a little overconfident given my read on the currently available evidence. There have also been a dozen or so instances when new variants dominated some country that subsequently fizzled out and never went global (either because a fitter variant emerged shortly after or because it turned out to be less infectious than was initially thought). Since I called you out last time on being overconfident ex-post, let me try doing it ex-ante this time.

I'd be willing to offer 1:2 odds (e.g. my $100 against your $200) that Omicron will not be found in more than 50% of sequences in the US according to Covariants.org any day before and including March 1st 2022. Note, I'd want to reserve the right to change the terms if you accept later than 48 hours from when this comment was posted (if/when the situation becomes clearer).