This is a bizarre blizzard full of mixed-message chaos. The Government could have done a much better job if it had intended to create national anxiety.

The Prime Minister urged that “people live their lives”, and added, “We shouldn’t be cancelling anything”. Yesterday, he said that he would not rule out additional restrictions on the Omicron variant. He stated: “We are still waiting to determine how dangerous it really is and what effect it has on deaths and hospitalisations.”

It follows any number ministers giving alarmist advice. Don’t “snog” under the misletoe. Christmas parties don’t make sense. Do a lateral flow check before you go to any event.


Yesterday’s former PM Theresa May was understandably furious at the’starting/stopping’ approach to any new version. She added that it is time to accept Covid.

It’s a great idea. Some may argue that it is a good thing Mrs May is bullisher than boostish Boris.

Yesterday, former PM Theresa May understandably hit out at this ¿starting and stopping¿ approach whenever a new variant emerges, adding that we have to learn to live with Covid, writes Professor Philip Thomas

Yesterday’s former PM Theresa May was understandably upset at the’starting with stopping’ approach to any new version. Professor Philip Thomas writes that it is time to accept Covid. 

At the moment, Britain is left wondering what sort of Christmas we can look forward to — or whether we should even be celebrating at all.

This uncertainty increases the chance that our countermeasures will cause more damage than they were intended.

We must avoid economic disaster and other negative consequences for our health by ensuring that we send a consistent message of assurance to the Government.

Britain can’t afford to keep driving down its economy. The history shows that people are more likely to die when their incomes or gross domestic products (GDPs) fall.

In 2016, a Lancet study found that there had been an additional 260,000 cancer deaths in countries developed in the years after the 2008 crash. According to the National Audit Office, 740,000 possible cancer victims have been left untreated since March 2008 when the lockdown began.

If we are to avoid further economic chaos and terrible health repercussions, the Government must start delivering a co-ordinated message of reassurance

To avoid more economic turmoil and devastating health consequences, we need to ensure that the government sends a coordinated message of comfort.

According to the latest figures from the Government on the economy published last month by the Ministry of Finance, Britain’s GDP has fallen 0.8% since 2002, just before the outbreak.

The situation is improving, however, and it’s better than it was last year before the release of the first vaccinations.

We must continue to build on this recovery.

It’s likely that more people will die from the financial effects of lockdown without a strong rebound.

Most people will agree that there is no other choice. Omicron’s new variant of Omicron has become so infected, they have to endure the severe consequences and accept the restrictions. Even if it means that you have to sacrifice yet another Christmas. They are mistaken.

Delta is currently the endemic strain in India. This virus spread from India to India and broke out in April. Delta virus is more contagious than Omicron, which arrived in China from China in 2020. Omicron seems to be even more infective.

Be confident

It displays about 50 mutations and, most importantly, 32 of them in its ‘spike proteins’ — the burr-like bits of the virus that enable it to latch on to healthy cells and infect them. Vaccinologists fear this will lead to an increase in the number of cases among those already vaccinated.

However, jabs are not ineffective.

The vast majority of cases can be overcome by immunity, or cause mild illnesses.

You don’t have to believe me. None of us, not even the pessimists who are most downhearted, can expect all defences being breached.

And don't just take my word for it. No one, not even the most dour pessimists, expects all defences to be breached (stock image)

You don’t have to believe me. None of us, not even the pessimists who are most downhearted, want all defences to fall (stock image).

BioNTech’s co-founder and scientist behind Pfizer’s vaccine, Dr Ugur Shin, stressed his optimism that vaccines would still be able to protect from severe illness.

Omicron first appeared in South Africa, and there are reports that Omicron is rapidly spreading and outpacing all previous varieties.

But, it is far more similar than in the United States. Here, the immunity level is far more high. Only 25% of South Africans have been vaccinated. However, the vast majority of Britons aged 12 and older have received two vaccines.

93% of adults in England have covid antibodies. Another bonus is that approximately half the English population has T-cells from previous coronavirus infections. These cells linger for longer periods than the waning antibodies and should continue to work against this strain.

We have strong immunity as a nation. Even in the most dire scenario Omicron could cause serious infections again, it would not be the nation’s worst nightmare.

And even in the worst case scenario, if Omicron was to cause infections to peak again, the country is nowhere near as susceptible to serious illness as it was last Christmas (stock image)

Even in the most dire scenario Omicron could cause serious illnesses to recur, which would be a disaster. Stock image

Even though the peak in England’s active infection numbers was at 1.1 million, it was only a tenth the number that was recorded in January. The vaccines were a great help and the hospital treatments helped us weather the storm.

You have other reasons to be optimistic. Angelique Coetzee was the first South African doctor to notice this new variant. She said she only became aware of it because patients were experiencing symptoms that were’so different’ and’so mild’.

She realized something was wrong because Covid-treated people weren’t getting as sick.

In an ideal world, the virus will morph into a manageable illness, like the common cold — as often happens through mutation. Although you may feel ill for several days, it is unlikely that the virus will cause hospitalization. You’d be protected against more severe strains, such as Delta once your symptoms have resolved.

Although it is not yet clear if Omicron will follow this lead, it is possible to speculate. The World Health Organisation has made an unexpected U-turn after identifying it as a “variant of concern”, its highest rating.

On Wednesday, Dr Maria van Kerkhove spoke cautiously. However, Christmas is over before we can be certain.

Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer was correct when he said that the Delta Epidemic ‘is undoubtedly what we should be concerned with between now and Christmas.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty was right when he pointed out that the Delta epidemic 'is undoubtedly the principal thing we need to concern ourselves with between now and Christmas'

Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer was correct when he said that the Delta Epidemic ‘is undoubtedly what we should be concerned with between now and Christmas.


The number of active infections in England has stopped growing at the close of October. We need to ask ourselves if this gradual decline will persist if we continue with the usual festive boom of socialising.

I have been tracking the epidemic for over a year using the Predictor-Corrector Coronavirus Filter (or PCCF) developed at Bristol University — and so far our predictions have proved reassuringly accurate.

Last weekend’s daily number of new cases in England was lower than it was a week ago, and that trend continued through last week.

The R-rate, as calculated by the PCCF, has now stabilised below 1.0 — in other words, the pandemic is shrinking and Delta infections are set to keep declining.

It happened without lockdown.

As I said, the immunity rate is up to 85 percent and there are fewer people in England that could be infected by the virus. The virus is no longer able to spread, so it’s in retreat.

As I say, up to 85 per cent of the population have immunity and the virus is simply running out of susceptible people to infect in England. Unable to circulate, it is in retreat (file image)

As I said, the virus has immunity for up to 85 percent of the population. The problem is that there are not enough people in England to spread the virus. It is now in retreat, and it cannot circulate (file image).

For some time, The PCCF correctly predicted that there would be a steady decline in the number of daily hospitalisations across England.

There may be a small uptick caused by extra mixing at Christmas and New Year celebrations, but there will not be many days when more than 800 people need to be hospitalised in England from now on. It is a manageable amount.

A similar trend is likely to be observed in deaths per day. For the next two months they may be at their current 100/day level, but as spring approaches, this trend should change slowly and surely.

This means the Delta variant may be in serious decline, regardless of whether we get hit by Omicron. Importantly, this means there won’t be another winter when Covid deaths continue to creep into the thousands.

Last week, regulators approved a brand new medication for Covid. The brand name of a drug known as sotrovimab is Xevudy. It will be used for the treatment of vulnerable adults suffering from mild or moderate Covid symptoms.


And, importantly, it means we won't see another winter with Covid deaths creeping into the thousands

Importantly, this means that we will not see another winter of Covid deaths in the thousands

It can be administered intravenously and has been proven to reduce serious illnesses and even death by as much as 79%. It prevents the virus attaching to cells or replicating within the body by covering spike proteins.

Patients with at least one risk factor of developing severe Covid infections, such as diabetes or heart disease, and those over 60 years old, should consider it.

My predictions are that 100,000 doses of medication have been ordered by Government officials.

Although tests are ongoing to determine how the drug performs against Omicron, the chief executive at the company responsible for developing the drug claims that it was ‘intentionally designed with a mutation virus in mind.

Xevudy, the brand name for a drug called sotrovimab, will be used to treat vulnerable adults with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid

The brand name of a drug called Sotrovimab is Xevudy. It will be used for the treatment of vulnerable adults suffering from mild or moderate Covid symptoms.

This medication will revolutionize medicine. The drug, which is administered in five days after the first signs of symptoms, is highly effective and can be used to treat most Covid cases.

The Government now needs to spread the message that all is well.

The country is more dependent on Christmas than ever. Christmas is more than just a holiday. It’s a life support for Britain’s ailing businesses — and for the wellbeing of the nation.

Let’s have fun for everyone’s benefit.

  • At Bristol University, Professor Philip Thomas serves as Visiting Academic Professor.