Open Thread 203
1. Public service announcement: In case you haven’t been paying attention or believing what you read, the most likely scenario is that Omicron is shaping up to be pretty bad (maybe less severe per case, but a lot more cases). Expect it to hit very suddenly and peak sometime in January. Zvi has details as usual; John Schilling is slightly more optimistic but only slightly. Consider taking whatever precautions you wish you’d taken back in March 2020 for a month of panic and maybe more lockdowns. Getting your booster might help, but do it right now to have it working in time and avoid the rush.
2. A friend is trying to help get an Afghan scientist who she knows out of Afghanistan - they're worried he will face legal repercussions for helping foreigners and the previous Afghan government. He is a pretty talented person and could qualify for some sort of skilled immigrant pathway, or for some kind of humanitarian refugee desperate need pathway. He's not very good at English. If anyone has any experience or advice in this area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Comment of the week is Coagulopath on what happens when organisms get dropped in alien environments. A brief excerpt: "Agricultural crops often do best far away from their native land, where pests and pathogens are adapted to them. New-world maize and cocoa are among the biggest crops in Africa. Conversely, most coffee is grown in South America. Sometimes being far from home is a good thing."
4: You should now be able to edit your comments. Thank you, Substack!