Sunday, December 26, 2021


2019 Novel Coronavirus (CoVID-19): Part XXX
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV (first named); COVID-2019 (later named disease); SARS-CoV-2 (final name of the virus causing COVID-2019), COVID-2019 Pandemic:


December 26, 2021 update Part 30
Paul Herscu ND, MPH
Herscu Laboratory 


Entering the last phase of the COVID-2019 Pandemic:

The End of Numbers




Hello and welcome. This short piece answers many of the emails and phone calls from colleagues and patients. I want to focus strictly on what we need to know related to Omicron and the evolution of the pandemic. In my previous post, you can read about the changes related to homeopathic care.


Before I start, while I receive some comments that are full of vitriol, I receive many more comments that are extremely heartfelt and full of thanks. Many of them also ask where they might donate money to help us in our work. Wherever you live, there is a soup kitchen, or a homeless shelter, or a place for people escaping violence/sex work/human slavery, or a community mental health clinic. All our communities have these places. Donate there. And count yourself, as I do, as lucky. Thank you for your generosity in this area.


Omicron Variant

By way of introduction, on Christmas day, Amy and I are sitting at a church during Mass. We are Jewish, but we like to attend other religious ceremonies, and invite others to ours. The idea is the more we interact with each other, the more we understand each other, the less strife there might be in the world. On this particular day, on the drive there, we are in a heated discussion. I want to write something in this post but Amy thinks I should not. I want to argue for a shortening of isolation/quarantine in some individuals in some professions who have tested positive for COVID-19. There are two reasons. The primary one is that, as mentioned before, we are expecting a huge deluge of people contracting the virus, and testing positive. This will cause huge disruptions in society. My point is that if properly dressed and protected, for health care workers/airline staff/food handlers, the restrictions should be shortened, perhaps to 6 days. This is because the deluge of people testing positive will stifle the entire economy and social fabric. The second reason has to do with the fact that Omicron seems to have an earlier transmission than prior variants but that is another issue for another time. Amy says, do you have any data to support the need to change this public health recommendation. I say no, but nevertheless this is what has to happen. So, we debate the topic for a while, now we’re in the middle of mass. When we get home, we find that the CDC came to this conclusion, shortening isolation to 7 days for essential health care workers. Things are moving fast here. Public health recommendations are shifting as fast as we can keep track. With that in mind, I wanted to describe further thoughts related to Omicron which I also shared back on December 5th, 2021 with our current NESH 2 Year Course students.

Omicron Less Severe

It is clear that Omicron is less severe, as we hypothesized. While is it less severe, there are many, many people falling ill but doing well enough. That said, Omicron is still causing a lot of misery for many others. There are no surprises here, as we have discussed this.


Omicron Changing Symptoms

As described before, there is a change in symptoms that is starting to be acknowledged, with a smaller percent of acute lung injury and more altered symptoms. To date, mainstream medical reports do not describe this change in symptomatology well. The best description is actually the one that comes from a homeopathic perspective, where the symptom picture of Gelsemium fits best. Many other folks who look like they need Gelsemium, but actually need their constitutional remedy. The point here is that the symptom picture is changed. Note that the algorithm that we developed in the Spring of 2020 still fits nicely and you can apply with people in your care.


Omicron Versus Delta, Picking up the Discussion

This is an odd sort of time for us, and especially picking up the conversation of homeopathic thought, and lost opportunities. As a community, homeopaths lost numerous opportunities to integrate within the larger medical community. Here is perhaps a last chance during the acute phase of the pandemic. As we discussed last time, homeopathic thought predates and perhaps anticipates the theory of evolution. With that in mind, we thought that Omicron would replace Delta, as has happened in many places. However, that is not the case all over the world. In some places, we have a dual epidemic of both variants in active transmission, and in other places only Delta remains the dominant infectious agent. What would a homeopath consider here?


From homeopathic theory, the Omicron will wind up displacing the Delta variant eventually; it is only a matter of time, and the scientists that are thinking this is going to continue as a steady equilibrium of both variants in epidemic rates will see this change soon enough. With that change, the overall percent of acute lung injuries will diminish as well, as described in my last post.


A bit of Physics and Chemistry Before a Major Thesis

Everything below assumes my initial premise that the SARS-COV-2 virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future. We need to learn how to adapt to each other in the safest manner possible. We cannot just simply outwait this virus it until its gone.




Living beings, like humans or like tiny like bacteria and viruses have to deal with the basic chemistry and physics of life. We are beings living “in the material world,” as the song goes. The SARS-COV-2 virus can and does change forms, but to be stable, it can’t go against physics and chemistry. Presently, the Omicron variant is rapidly replacing the Delta variant. And while many in the homeopathic community mistakenly see this as a worse variant, in fact, less morbidity and mortality speaks to the opposite. Mostly, the Omicron variant is considered a safer variant. I have a few independent thoughts which I think might be important given the fact that we do not actually know yet how stable the Omicron variant is:


1.     I mentioned last time that the form of the wave will be different. Specifically, the incidence spike will be quicker, last less long, and end faster that prior waves.

2.     If this is the case, then the Omicron may or may not last for very long. It might be a very stable variant, or may not be especially stable. It might be replaced by a potentially worse variant. What we know is that this one is less severe than prior iterations.

3.     If we are looking for the safest way out of the pandemic it may be by using mild versions of the infection to build up natural immunity. Whether you are vaccinated or not, (it still remains safer for those who are vaccinated,) gaining natural immunity with the safer variant, while still protected somewhat, from either prior exposure to the virus or vaccination on board, may well make the most sense. This is the hybrid protection we discussed months ago.




I hope I have not lost anyone yet, because here are further thoughts:


1.     In communities that have minimal Omicron circulating, might it make sense to first, and only if you do this first, protect the population from a severe expression of the virus (see below,) and then allow Omicron to displace the Delta variant. In this way, we are building natural immunity, using a safer, milder form of the virus before Omicron goes away.

2.     In societies or countries that have had little or no SARS-COV-2 at all (here I am thinking of New Zealand) it might make most sense to limit the Delta variant, while allowing Omicron variant to spread in a protected fashion. The reason I highlight New Zealand is that they have few people who have had the virus, and also, not as high of a vaccination rate. In other words, if the virus has mutated to be safer now, but many of the folks have not protected themselves fully we have to do something to get out of the pandemic. Here, I think if we can both protect the folks AND at the same time allow Omicron to circulate, they can skip challenges and poorer outcomes of prior or future variants.

3.     In people who have been vaccinated and have the booster, and are doing other things to protect themselves, allow them, in a reasonable fashion (discussed below,) to walk through life naturally, catch the virus, have as a minor illness as possible, and build natural immunity.

4.     In people who have not been vaccinated fully, but have had the virus previously, and are doing other things to protect themselves, allow them, in a reasonable fashion, to walk through life naturally, catch the virus, express it as a minor version, and build natural immunity.

This is the hybrid protection I wrote about a few months ago that I thought governments would eventually move towards, as we see now. Let me explain here. Not a secret, but clearly not described. On the one hand, we have temporary more restrictions. But on the other hand, the government still has not fully describe or modified rules around transmission. THIS VIRUS IS CURRENTLY AIRBORNE. PEOPLE ARE GETTING THIS FROM NON-CONTACT TRANSMISSION. It no longer makes any sense at all to walk into a restaurant masked and then sit and eat unmasked. That does little in airborne transmission. Yet the government has not addressed this. In other words, we are being exposed without actually protecting people as we could.




This makes sense from pure homeopathic theory. Using a minor infection to displace a worse one and helping us build up protection against a worse infection. Towards that, I sincerely hope that folks in the homeopathic community change their description of the Delta versus Omicron variant, and appreciate that the Omicron variant is less severe than the Delta variant. This rhetoric should change to fit reality, and to fit the opportunity that we have.




Best Protected

How to be best protected? How to best protect society for this transition? What do I mean by this? Aside, from the vaccine status, as mentioned before, I would continue to urge the government to tell folks to take the same exact supplement list as described 15 months ago, and lastly, have the correct homeopathic prescription, as described in the first months of the pandemic. The correct homeopathic prescription could be generalized, as by using the questionnaire we developed.


The End of Numbers

I titled this post as the End of Numbers for a reason. The math around this pandemic has been pretty clear for those who look at it all. I know that social media has been all over the spectrum here, but it has been pretty clear if you follow the research. That is about to change though, even for the science part. Up to now it has been pretty evident who has had a vaccine and who has not, or who has had COVID-19 previously and who has not. However, both numbers will become increasingly transitory. In other words, if you got vaccinated a year ago or if you had COVID-19 a year ago it may not matter in a trial. You can still get infected. I am seeing people who got COVID-19 twice. Added to the complexity, in both groups, the vast majority have been either asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic, from the very start, as we highlighted in January of 2020.


When we conduct a clinical trial, we want to have one variable only, and at least 2 arms of the trial. For example, let’s say we want to test a vitamin, herb, homeopathic remedy, or drug, versus placebo. To be included in the study, we want two groups of people. One group that is not vaccinated and one group that is vaccinated. In both instances, those terms may become blurred since the time horizon of meaning may have passed. Similarly, many people may have had COVID-19 subclinically, especially after Omicron. When we design a study of one group versus another group of people and we want people who have not had COVID-19 previously, we are likely to include people who have had it but did not know it. In other words, many studies are about to be conducted that are going to show negative results regardless of what was being tested. This is not because the treatment does not work, but because the different arms in the studies are muddied. There are solutions for this, that I have used for decades in clinical trial design, but in general, this is a of prediction about future studies. In short, it will be difficult to attain clear results because there will be ongoing confusion with regard to people’s immune status.


I can give us one very specific example of what I mean by number confusion. When the Omicron variant was identified and scientists were trying to work out how severe this variant was, it was tricky to go by the numbers from South Africa. People around the world were wondering why it took so long. ‘Obviously’ all you have to do is see how many ended up in the hospital or in ICUs or died. The problem is the one I mentioned here, of trying to make sense of the numbers. While we knew who was vaccinated in South Africa, we did not clearly know who caught COVID-19 previously. For many, this current infection may actually be a reinfection for them. And what we already know is that reinfections tend to be milder than original ones, because those that survived the first bout have some level of lasting immunity. This means we did not know if this new variant was truly milder, or if it seemed milder because so many were experiencing a reinfection. And so, it took time, nearly a month, to work out the numbers as Omicron unfolded in Europe. They couldn’t pay attention to the situation in South Africa because it was too confusing. The math is no longer straightforward when we do not really know who was sick previously and who was not. This will only become more problematic to future trials since Omicron is so infectious. Many people will have a prior infection at some point and may be mild for many, which means we may not know their true immune status. This specific point will come up again.


By April, a lot will be behind us, as the numbers of dying drop precipitously. My hope though is that we do this consciously, with immune support, slowly, methodically, having people safely get exposed to Omicron, develop natural immunity, and move forward. One way or another, this is going to happen. De facto, it is happening. But it should be done safely. Here, again, the best example I have is that we are letting people get Omicron by airborne transmission without changing our recommendations. We are doing this, but we could be doing this in a safer way.


On a personal note. There is one number that has been running around in my brain. 500. One in 500 people in America have died of this virus. For example, when looking at homeopathic physicians or naturopathic physicians who are over 60, the numbers that died is around 1 in 500. I have treated homeopaths and naturopaths who have also been at death's door, who did not get vaccinated, and in public argue with me, who become severely ill and hide it. Also, there are many homeopaths and naturopaths who publicly argue against the vaccine even though they themselves took the vaccine. Obviously, there are ethical issues here. It is very difficult for me, personally, to have someone argue with my positions, vilify me in public, get COVID-19 from not doing any of things I mentioned, ask for my help, get my help, survive, and then stay quiet about it. Obviously, I am going to help them. That’s my job. And we have been really lucky thus far. My main problem is not with their choices, but that they stay quiet about their choices and about their outcomes is troubling. To me this seems problematic. My point is that a lot of folks just work off of social media to gather their information and to assess the news. I am working from my patient experience. And it breaks my heart. Omicron, by percent of misery is less, but it is still there and people are still getting sick.


One prediction is going to be clear, though, as the simplest math number to find. The 2022 mortality in the USA from COVID will be less than half of that from 2021. As well, and importantly, Excess mortality rate in the USA (in short form, the increased number of people expected to die in an average year,) will be negative, rather than positive in 2022. There will not be an excess death, and in fact, it will be lower than expected.


This is my 30th post on SARS-COV-2. People have jumped in at various times, and read the past posts. Others do not read the past and argue with me about why I am not speaking of this or that, which in fact I have done in prior posts. They want me to summarize all of them in a very short way so that they can get a sense of the breadth of it. I will try to do that in a short post the next time. I cannot go into depth but I will try to summarize. But if you want to take the deep dive on this topic, please refer to all the previous posts. Thank you for your interest and your support. Please stay safe and take care of yourself and those you love.




Until next time,


Kindest regards,

Paul Herscu ND, MPH