tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC November 30, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
announcer: building a better bay area, this is abc 7 news. >> here watching getting answers live on abc 7, who will live and wherever you stream. we ask e-sports your questions every day to get questions for you. this holiday season it's time to give where you live. today, on giving tuesday, abc 7 invites you to join our day of giving. coming up, i will share one of my favorite bay area nonprofits working to close the digital divide. but first, the omicron variant of the coronavirus. as of today there's no confirmed case in the u.s., although it is in canada and experts believe it's just a matter of time before a case is confirmed. one big question, can it elude our vaccines.
joining us now without's on this and other issues, the clinical professor from uc berkeley school of public health. thank you for joining us today. when do you expect we will discover our first case in the u.s.? >> i wouldn' i wouldn' i wouldn' saw headlines tonight or tomorrow that we identified a case. i think it's likely that the particular variant is already here. >> how will we know for sure? do we do something with positive cases to read the genetic makeup of the case? >> one piece of good news about the variant is, not only do our regular pcr tests that you do, the one that sticks up the nose in the laboratory, not only will that identify that you have covid, but it will give a red flag to say that the covid variant you have could be
omicron because it has a different pattern when it turns positive, so that's a leg up in terms of identifying the virus much earlier. glicksman jenness ceo says the existing vaccine may struggle with omicron and you are saying it may have physical structures that suggest that might not respond to the immunity we got from the vaccines. can you explain why? >> it has a variety of changes in its genetic structure, both mutations and deletions of particular parts of the gene. in these patterns that we see are often seen in other variance, and those variance have shown that they are not quite as responsive to the immunity we get from vaccines. and that is what leads a lot of the concern that perhaps this variant won't respond as well to the vaccines that we currently
have, or to previously having had covid. again, this is all speculation at this time. >> if you have questions for the doctor, ask if you're watching on facebook live. on the meantime, what i want to ask about south africa. we don't know if it originated there. that's where they discovered it and there was a bunch of cases. it has caused a surge of covid cases after they went through a low. early data suggest mild cases. is that what they're saying and can we draw conclusions about how easily it spreads and how potent it is for what we are seeing? >> a very early data suggests it is transmissible. but the south african population is spreading a very different than the population here in the bay area are in the united states. only about 25% of south africans are vaccinated. about half the number we have here.
in south not had a great deal of exposure to delta. delta isn't there -- isn't there. it's essentially the only variant we are seeing. it's a very different population we are seeing it spread in. right now we can say with certainty and with great deal of assurance that it seems to be spreading faster in that particular population. cases, what symptoms should we be on the lookout for? if we have fatigue or headache and if we should run and get a covid test, what do you think? >> i did not answer your question about does it cause disease? it's hopeful and we are clinging to that but we don't know if that will cause disease.
to get to your current question. if you have any symptoms suggestive of covid, this snuffles, it could be an allergy, maybe it's a cold. a little bit of a cough, bodyaches, fatigue. that whole list of things that looks like a common cold, make sure you get tested because there's no way to differentiate covid from the common cold with a variety of other viruses and bacteria. the couple strategies you could use for getting tested, you can get the antigen test. those are the ones you do at home, they take about 15 minutes. if you are symptomatic when you do the test, it gives a good assurance of whether or not you are infected with the virus. i would definitely do to, if that's negative but the next day you have symptoms, repeat it again to be sure.
a better way to do it is to get the pcr tests. the one sent to the laboratory. it's more of a hassle because you have to go somewhere to get it. the same time of sample. that typically takes best today and two days for the results. the main thing i want people to hear is, don't just think it's the allergies. if you have symptoms consistent with covid, and they can be mild, make sure you ruled it out. >> i want to get to a couple of your questions. laura building off of my question about the severity of what we know. she says are symptoms any different from what we know about previous covid-19 strains? >> or question is important and unfortunately we can't answer that yet. what we have seen in south africa are a lot of people
having common cold symptoms. but we see that with the other variance, including delta. we have seen more hospitalizations in south africa , whether or not they are due to omicron, we don't have the data. so if they are due to it, it can make some people sicker. it can increase hospitalizations and children to and under, which is a little unusual. we don't know if it's omicron or one of the other variance. that's about the best i can say. my vices, if you have any symptoms suggested covid, don't worry about omicron versus alpha and so on, just get tested. >> don't go away because the professor will stay with
>> we are back with the clinical professor from the uc berkeley school. we were answering fewer questions on facebook live. one more from daniel. doctors confirmed the first cases of delta with omicron, does it seem as bad or as serious, or don't really know yet? >> don't really know yet. that seems to be the refrain of my conversation. he just don't know very much yet, so we don't know if it's better to have delta, omicron or better to have had alpha. could very well turn out that omicron may not cause as severe diseases delta could be the flip
of that. we have to wait and see. this is a hard time for all of us dealing with the unknown. >> if it turns out that it's highly transmissible, but it doesn't cause people to get that severely ill, could that potentially be a good thing from the standpoint of global herd immunity? >> i think the best thing for global herd immunity is to get vaccinated so you don't have to take the risk of getting infected. short of that, coronavirus is because about one third of all common colds. that's exactly what you are describing. if there was a large pandemic in the late part of the 19th century that may very well have been caused by coronavirus. in that virus, over time, it evolved and made people much less sick, now it's a common cold virus.
the answer to your question is, if this virus tends to evolve towards making less severe symptoms, doesn't kill people or throw them in the hospital, that would be absolutely wonderful, and that would lead to more people getting immunized. remember, how many times have you had the common cold, and many of those times it has been coronavirus. because our immunity to those coronavirus is does not protect us for long term against the common cold. >> if i could get a shot that keeps me from getting the common cold, i would do it because it's not pleasant getting the common cold. i did read omicron may pose a higher risk of reinfection than other variance. what does that mean? >> what that means is that able to escape the immunity we have from previous infection and will cause breakthrough infections.
we have seen that with delta with mild to moderate infections in people who are fully vaccinated and may be infected. we will have to wait. i think there is a good chance that that's what we will see based upon what we understand about his genetic structure. >> do expected to overtake delta quad -- overtake delta? >> it would take a really big gorilla in the room to overcome delta. delta, when it started was just a few cases, and it outcompeted every other variant, including a variant that was the dominant strain in peru that we were really worried about several months ago, now we don't talk about it because it could not compete with delta. it's very interesting, i don't know whether omicron, with all these changes it has made, whether it will be capable of out competing delta. again, we talked about earlier,
it spreading in south africa where there is not much delta. >> james has a question, he says omicron seems to have 59 mutations, how many did the first variant have? >> what we call the strain is what we compare everything to. in the first few variance you are seeing new changes roughly every month, so you might see a variant like alfaro with 6, 8, 12 different changes. so we don't see a lot of genetic changes for these previous ones. that's one of the things that are very alarming. all of a sudden we have a variant with well over 50 different changes in the genetic structure. >> does that happen in one host, like one person?
> hypotheses. someone who is teetering with his or her immune system, able to suppress it but not get rid of it, so the virus keeps replicating, and then ultimately, with the replications of figures out ways to evade that persons immune system and it picks up lots of different mutations and deletions in the genetic structure. so it could've come from one person. >> fascinating. we only have about one minute left, but i want to ask you with the cdc is saying, anyone over 18, get a booster. do you agree with that? and would you revise your christmas plans? >> the answer to your first question, do i agree with her, absolutely. if you are six months past getting pfizer or moderna, get a booster.
getgetgetget in terms of revising christmas plans, not really, but my christmas plans are very pedestrian. very modest and very conservative. i'm concerned about delta, frankly, and how that is spreading in the united states. we are in a little island here in the bay area and in california that's doing incredibly well, but i would not want to be in michigan right now, where hospitals are getting filled. so i would be very conservative in terms of what you do. i would only get together with people who are fully vaccinated. if i'm inside, i just don't want to be around people who are not vaccinated. i think that's too risky for them and for me. i will keep groups of people i'm with fear because of very small. and trust those people that they won't come to the gathering that i'm at if they have any symptoms at all suggested of covid.
>> today's giving tuesday and we invite you to join our day of giving. my colleagues and i have each selected a bay area charity to share with you and i would like to introduce you to a nonprofit that strives to close the digital divide in the silicon valley. even though we live in the heart of innovation, few young people of color are included in the tech economy. >> silicon valley is not diverse, yet you have a powerful community sitting in the heart of it. >> so much success has been built, then you forget that even in this area, even in this geography, go 10 miles away and
people have less opportunity and less access. >> that's where street code comes in. >> joining us now to talk about street code academy co-founder and proud student and developer. good to see you both. >> good to see you. >> i recognize you, morgan, you look completely different because last time we saw you you were 9, 3 and a half years ago, pre-pandemic you are in the studio after you developed a gaming app after taking a class at street code. we can't wait to hear about what you are doing now, but i think i will start with you, what exactly district code academy offer? >> the goal is to try to close the digital divide. we show clips, whether it be students or whether it be tech executives who recognize the need to be a bridge between people who are left out, and the
growing innovation economy. we think that what we have within silicon valley is a prime example of what represents the world at large of that disconnect. so we provide free tech classes and try to provide our students with the mindsets, the skills, and what they need to actually contribute to tech and innovation. >> are your classes all free, and who gets to take them? >> absolutely. we say innovation for everyone, so our classes are absolutely free, we try to make as few barriers as possible to enter into this economy, so you have people who think it's not for them, we need to make sure that folks know it is for them, there are innovators who looked just like morgan and they spend of diversity that we need. and we want to highlight those, and skills classes, we need people, there is a shortage of workforce, so we need folks with the right skills, so why put up
a barrier, so we try to get people the mindset skills absolutely free. >> and you don't have to live in east palo alto. morgan, were nine, you developed a game called candy unicorn, have you continue to take classes at street code? >> yep. >> what kind of classes have you taken? >> since the pandemic, i have been taking classes with street code. i took advanced coding, i'm not sure exactly what it was, but i'm still taking them. >> what other things have you coded or developed or started? >> made a website that tells the time around the world. i'm in oakland right now, it
would tell the time all the way in brazil. >> is this in stealth mode, like you can't share with us yet? >> yep. >> what do you want to be when you grow up? >> a computer scientist. that is the goal. >> i know that's why street code does it. you have famous supporters really believe in this mission. i know stephen curry, warriors superstar has live chats. marshawn lynch as well has been to your events. -- here is steph is part of the ig live chap, wide do you think it street code's >> they, like many of us such street code believe we want to unlock the potential. many of us were underdogs coming up. whether we overcame in sports, whether we overcame in school, we also want to overcome in industry and really let our
expression be told. so people like steph, and marchand, these are folks we know as entertainers. but more than that, these are folks that are philanthropists in folks that want to get back to their community, so they see street code as being part of the future we want to see. we want to see a lot of morgans and a lot of our kids being able to become the next innovators and creators, so they are investing in us in those ways. >> talk about how the pandemic has either changed or increased services that you need to provide and the support you need from the community to be able to do that. >> the pandemic accelerated everything we believed. he started in east palms california because we thought it was a beautiful community to represent to the world what happens when we diversify the industry. so we always knew we wanted to be an influence around the world , starting right here in east palo alto in the bay area. the pandemic accelerated that. when we began offering our
programs online and not just in person, it really accelerated the ability to reach the world. so while we were serving folks locally, now we serve folks globally and we serve 6000 people since our start five years ago, and that shows where we accelerated our ability to reach them going online. >> so how can folks help or take part? >> it's giving tuesday, so of course, we are asking everyone to search their heart, it's a beautiful opportunity to be able to give, so you can go to our website, street code.org and be a part of that. or importantly, we have a theme to celebrate our university, it's called celebrate, remember and imagine. we want people to participate. december 11 we will have an online program that will allow people to celebrate, remember the people that helped make this possible, and then to imagine the next chapter of the entire
industry and world could look like. that's december 11 and all the information is on the website. >> we will be looking for that. thank you. cofounder of street code academy and morgan smith, developer and future someone who will change the world, i just know it and i will invest in whatever you are doing right now, think you so much right now. great to see you.
county. here's the ceo. >> when you have to go to the gas station, you are paying close to five dollars a gallon, something else has to give. so, whether you are a food bank paying to fuel your trust to deliver the food, or you are people living on the margin where they might need help, all of those things stretch our resources and stretch our ability to either receive help or to provide help. now, more than ever, we need additional contributions so we can fuel our trust, pay our energy bills, pay our dedicated staff, by the food that has not been received as donations, and make sure that everybody has what they need to be healthy and productive. >> if you can help the redwood empire food bank, or any other bay area food banks, we have information at abc 7 news.com take action. we will see a list of better organizations that would appreciate your help on this day of giving. thank you first joining us on
this interactive show of getting answers. we will be on tonight breaking news, a deadly shooting at high school in oxford, michigan. the images coming in. at least three students shot and killed, six people wounded, including a teacher. the 15-year old suspect, a student at the school, allegedly armed with a semi-automatic handgun. pierre thomas standing by with late reporting tonight. also tonight, the omicron variant spreading to at least 20 countries. tonight what the director of cdc says we're doing in the u.s. to track it here and the different messages from moderna and pfizer about the we have