The COVID/Omicron $-minded thread; no politics, just investments


Make your own luck.
Jun 16, 2012
Wanted to have a centralized thread to watch Omicron from a money-making/protecting perspective. I know we have the other COVID thread, but this one is intended to focus on potential impact to investments and be data-driven and apolitical. A lot of us are kicking ourselves from missing out on opportunities during wave 1, but surprise, here's (maybe) a 2nd chance.

If we chat policy, the point is to discuss what we think will be done, not vs. what we think should be done. There are a few TLR investment communities (GME, AMC, Crypto) that I think can benefit from a centralized discussion. I've been hopping back and forth between threads and it's tough trying to get good info.

Here's my Omicron-related watchlist from a $ perspective - these are all things that created huge dips and then recovery opportunities in the last few waves of Covid:
  • COVID hospitalizations (I think this is the end-all-be-all driver of policy on COVID; I don't care about case count, just hospitalizations as a proxy for COVID deaths and indirect deaths due to crowded hospitals)
  • New & expanded travel restrictions
  • New domestic lockdowns
  • New domestic lockdown driven stimulus efforts
  • Change in fed rate/inflation stance to protect employment
And here's the best article I've seen in terms of summarizing where we are w/ Omicron:
How bad is Omicron? What scientists know so far

TL;DR Summary: Omicron is capable of spreading fast AF (faster than Delta) and will probably drive a surge in cases, but we don't yet know if the surge will also coincide with worse hospitalizations vs. Delta. We also don't know if the vaccine & boosters will help with hospitalizations. We don't have data yet beyond some (positive) speculation by epidemiologists, but there is some positive speculation that it won't drive up the hospitalization rate.

  • Based on the rise in COVID-19 cases and on sequencing data, Wenseleers estimates that Omicron can infect three to six times as many people as Delta, over the same time period. “That’s a huge advantage for the virus — but not for us,” he adds.
  • In this context, Omicron’s success in southern Africa might be due largely to its capacity to infect people who recovered from COVID-19 caused by Delta and other variants, as well as those who’ve been vaccinated. A 2 December preprint1 from researchers at the NICD found that reinfections in South Africa have increased as Omicron has spread. “Unfortunately, this is the perfect environment for immune-escape variants to develop,” says Althaus.

    How well the variant spreads elsewhere might depend on factors such as vaccination and previous infection rates, says Aris Katzourakis, who researches viral evolution at the University of Oxford, UK. “If you throw it into the mix in a highly vaccinated population that has given up on other control measures, it might have the edge there.”
[OK, this is where it gets a little confusing to me in the article. I don't think it does a good job of clarifying HOW the above bullet can jive with the one right below it. I think the difference is antibody response vs. other immune response, but they don't get the epidemiologists above to discuss this.]
  • If Omicron can dodge neutralizing antibodies, it does not mean that immune responses triggered by vaccination and prior infection will offer no protection against the variant...Other aspects of the immune system, particularly T cells, may be less affected by Omicron’s mutations than are antibody responses. Researchers in South Africa plan to measure the activity of T cells and another immune player called natural killer cells, which might be especially important for protection against severe COVID-19, says Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist at the University of the Witwatersrand...

    If Omicron behaves similarly, Madhi says, “we’re going to see a surge of cases. We’re going to see lots of breakthrough infections, lots of reinfections. But there’s going to be this unhinging of the case rate in the community compared to the hospitalization rate”. Early reports suggest that most breakthrough infections with Omicron have been mild, says Madhi. “For me, that is a positive signal.”...
    He suspects that the results will be reminiscent of how the AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccine performed against the Beta variant, an immune-evading variant that was identified in South Africa in late 2020. A trial led by Madhi found that the vaccine offered little protection against mild and moderate disease, while a real-world analysis in Canada showed greater than 80% protection against hospitalization.

I'm overweighted tech (NASDAQ ETFs, virtually 60% of portfolio) and Crypto (20% of portfolio, almost 90% in BTC & ETH). Remaining 10% is total market ETFs and cash.

Since Omicron, I rotated into Tech from total market funds as a (weak) defensive play against another potential lockdown and impact on supply chains/hard goods. The fed might screw me on that, but these are long term holds that I feel won't get nuked, just corrected.

I also upped my stake in Ethereum by 33% over the past week at a DCA of just under $4K.

What are yall doing? Feel free to post how you're thinking about it or good articles showing how Omicron is trending in a macro sense.
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