Covid Variant Uprising

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Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

Cass Soldate, Joournalist

There are new Covid-19 variants obscuring the world of sickness once again. According to the CDC, the SARS-CoV-2 variant – Covid-19 – has variants of itself known as B.1.1.529 or Omicron that have begun a new spread of panic across the U.S. The first recorded sign of this Omicron variant was found in South Africa on November 24th, 2021 and has since then spread across the world once again. Omicron was sighted in the United States by December 1st. As of December 8th, up to 22 states have identified Omicron cases.

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 continuously evolve as the virus mutates and affects each person differently. In most cases, a variant of that virus occurs within a person. Because of this, it was expected for Covid-19 (a mutation from SARS-CoV-2) to have variants of itself. The most common symptoms reported by the CDC are cough, fatigue, congestion or runny nose. Fortunately, as of December 16th, 2021, no deaths have been caused by the Omicron variant.

Schools should stay open. It is clear that virtual schooling is disruptive for teachers, students, and parents resulting in multiple negative consequences.”

— Robert Balfanz, professor at Centre for Social Organisation of Schools at the Johns Hopkins School of Education

“Well, I think what we’ve learned about the delta variant is it’s highly contagious, and the omicron variant is even more contagious…The minute you walk outside you are taking some risks, so you need to do everything you can to mitigate that risk. At the very least be vaccinated. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, I think if you’re around an older person it would be reasonable to wear a mask and do the best you can to social distance. But it’s really largely a matter of common sense. Omicron is highly contagious, so be careful,” professor of pediatrics of Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Paul A. Offit, M.D., states.

Photo Courtesy of: Google Images
Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

The best ways to prevent this up-and-coming variant from mutating any further can be found on CDC’s weekly SARS-CoV-2 updates. Whether it’s getting vaccinated, wearing a mask outside and inside a public environment, or as simple as washing your hands.

“Omicron is a real threat. Omicron is much more transmissible, and it’s capable of infecting people who have been vaccinated or previously infected. If you’re going to get together with relatives and loved ones, test before you come together. And wear masks in public. And try to social distance in other circumstances,” says Jeffrey Shaman, PhD & professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.