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Health care workers prepare hundreds of needles that will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients at the Sharp Healthcare vaccination site in Chula Vista. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Shane Crotty, a lead researcher at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, has helped us out here on the VOSD Podcast throughout the pandemic.

He laid out the science of COVID vaccines when they were new. He explained the Delta variant as it swept the country. And this week, he’s back in an interview with host Scott Lewis to talk about Omicron — the latest variant that demonstrates, as Crotty put it, “this virus is more clever than most anyone expected.”

One hypothesis about Omicron, which is explained in the interview this week, is that it likely predates Alpha — the first COVID-19 variant. Meaning, this isn’t a mutation born from Delta but something that may have been cooking since mid-2020 and has just recently broken free.

And you may have heard the popular notion that Omicron is “less severe” than other variants. There is no basis for that, Crotty says.

But we do know something definitively, according to Crotty: Vaccines and boosters are our best bet at controlling the virus. Get your booster.

Our interview with Crotty starts around minute 33 of the podcast. 

Also on the pod this week…

San Diego Unified School District, after about a year, has narrowed its search for a new superintendent to two people: current interim Lamont Jackson and Susan Enfield.

Enfield locally is a relatively unknown candidate; she ran a school district in suburban Washington state.

Lewis, along with cohosts Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, review the district’s odd process so far — and what the chances are that San Diego Unified may choose someone other than its interim. Jackson stepped in a year ago, mid-pandemic, to lead the district’s reopening.

Midway aims for new (building) heights. The less-than-picturesque Midway area was slated to get a facelift after a measure approved by San Diego voters last year — Measure E — removed the coastal height limit.

This was crucial for redevelopment of the city’s Sports Arena land and would help many plots of land in the area get the thousands of new homes predicted in its community plan. But a new court ruling puts all of that in jeopardy. Lewis, Keatts and Lopez-Villafaña provide a short history and square it with the rest of the city’s real estate boondoggles.

If you value this show and what VOSD does for the region, consider helping out! Our year-end fundraising campaign ends with the final sunset of 2021. You can join us now and keep the show going by giving at vosd.org/podcast2021.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at nate@vosd.org.

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