Just as we thought Omicron was rolling across the US and into oblivion, a new "subvariant" has arrived and is, again, taking over. At the same time Moderna is announcing dosing of the first participant in its phase 2 study of an Omicron-specific booster. But Omicron's evolution wasn't unexpected – the World Health Organization's recent update cites four lineages of Omicron, dubbed BA.1 through BA.4.
"So it goes," to quote Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five. But that statement was in response to death among the Tralfamadorians – not the robust activity of a tiny virus.
It seems to me that the continual categorization of SARS-CoV-2 reflects the human urge to group, categorize, and name things to help us understand them. I think the situation is eventually going to dissolve into a continuum of genetic flux as the tango of mutation and selection continues. That's what nucleic acids do.
Since it still new days for Omicron 2.0, here's a snapshot:
WHAT WE KNOW
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