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Omicron Took a Flight to MN

Plus no (legal) weed for anxiety sufferers, and Viking Harrison Smith and U of M dean Sri Zaheer both think COVID's NBD in today's Flyover.

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Even COVID dioramas should consider getting vaccinated.

Omicron and Anime: Is There a Link?

Well shit. Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town this holiday season. The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed a few hours ago that someone in our state has tested positive for Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant. “This news is concerning, but it is not a surprise,” Gov. Tim Walz tweeted this morning, urging everyone to remain calm and get their booster shots. Patient 0, who was vaccinated, had recently returned from New York City, where he had traveled to attend an anime convention. The MDH reports that he’s in good health, and quarantined. As for what this means? Who knows! Health orgs are still researching this strain for its transmissibility and how effective the vaccines are against it. Mask up and vaxx up, everyone. 

Post COVID, Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith Still ‘Nah’ to Vaccine

Speaking of the plague, unvaccinated Vikings safety Harrison Smith had COVID last month, but don’t worry, it was NBD. "It was weird. I tested on game day and I tested the next day just to confirm it,” he explained, looking bored AF at a press conference Wednesday night. “It's weird when you feel healthy and you don't play, but I get it. That's how the virus works." Weird! Harris explained that his only symptom was a dulling of his sense of taste, stating that the positive test results “came out of nowhere.” When asked if his experience has made him reconsider getting a vaccine, Smith responded: “Uh, no. For me, like I said, I felt fine the whole time." Cool story, bro. But it’s not just about you: As Bring Me the News helpfully points out, a new study released by the NBA found that vaccinated athletes were less likely to infect other players if they had a breakthrough case. Meanwhile, we already know that vaccinated individuals are way less likely to die from coronavirus, which is pretty cool.    

Carlson Dean Thinks U of M Needs to ‘Chill Out and Get Over’ Pandemic

Sri Zaheer, dean of the U of M’s Carlson School of Management, made “egregious and problematic” comments about COVID-19 during a meeting in September, according to a letter sent by upset school staffers the following month. Among the dean’s controversial takes, the Minnesota Daily reports: "You all really need to chill out and get over [COVID]"; "50,000 people die from the flu each year but no one talks about that"; and "some people are giving 200% while working remotely but some are not.” Yikes! Zaheer, whom the Strib praised for her “outgoing charm” upon her 2012 hiring, has since apologized for the remarks, the Daily reports. Zaheer can likely afford to give 200% while working from a pretty nice home: She was the U’s seventh-highest earner in 2017, the St. Cloud Times reports, with an annual compensation of $549,000. Students, staff, and faculty slammed the U’s “toothless” COVID policies as the fall semester began, Racket reported.

You Can Have Weed Gummies, but NOT For Your Anxiety

Minnesota will expand its medical cannabis program next year. So will you finally be able to get a card for your anxiety disorder? Absolutely not! State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says gummies and chewables are a-OK, the Star Tribune reports, but as for anxiety, there's "too little evidence of benefits." Advocates had hoped that getting PTSD as an approved condition back in 2018 would help anxiety disorders make it as well, but alas, no additional qualifying conditions were added this year. But hey, at least you can get edibles starting in August 2022.

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