The New Normal: What do we learn as new coronavirus variants emerge?

News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined this morning by Dr. Tom McGinn to talk about COVID-19 variants.
All the knowledge that's been gained on how to respond to a variant as lethal as Delta or as contagious as Omicron can be put to good use.
Each time a new variant of the coronavirus emerges, the world follows a similar pattern. Scientists share the discovery, and panic ensues. Not enough is done between each wave to prevent or prepare for the next one. How do we put these lessons to good use?
Why is Omicron so hyper-transmissible? How about less loss of smell and taste with this variant?
Do we know yet if more people are getting long-COVID with Omicron?
Demand for COVID-19 drugs is surging as Omicron cases increase, but supplies have been scarce. NIH says only one monoclonal antibody treatment is effective against Omicron.
While men overall died at a higher rate than women, a study found the trends varied widely over time and by state. That suggests that social factors — like job types, behavioral patterns and underlying health issues — played a big role in the apparent sex differences, researchers said.
Many continue to worry about experiencing side effects from vaccines — especially the COVID-19 vaccines — but new data from a comprehensive meta-analysis suggests there is little to fear.