So it sounds like you and the experts you talked to are saying that the answer to preventing variants like omicron and enduring them is not severe travel restrictions. It’s just a lot more vaccinations.
We know what works. It’s vaccination, it’s masks, it’s social distancing, and probably not travel restrictions.
— Exchange between host Michael Barbaro and reporter Apoorva Mandavilli on The Daily
I’m still trying to catch up on things enough to resume blogging, but I just thought I’d take a moment to weigh in on Omicron. There’s a lot about it we won’t know for weeks, until we see just what it does to us and our world.
There are reasons to be concerned, of course. As this episode of The Daily noted earlier this week, there are three principle questions we ask when a new COVID variant emerges:
- How contagious is it?
- How severe is it? (Will it lead to more hospitalizations, and deaths?)
- Will the vaccines protect us from it?
The initial analysis of the variant indicates it has properties that cause concern in all three of those areas — more than Delta did back during the summer.
But we just won’t know for a while, until we see what happens outside the laboratory.
In the meantime, though, we know how to reduce the risk to our neighbors and ourselves:
- Get vaccinated, if for some unimaginable reason you haven’t already done so.
- Wear a mask around other people.
- Avoid other people. Keep your distance. For God’s sake don’t go out into crowds unless it cannot be avoided.
All of these things make it less likely that you will pick up the virus and pass it onto others. Which reduces the chances for Omicron or any other variant, or any other infectious disease, to spread, to reproduce, to evolve. If everyone does these things, the pandemic burns itself out sooner rather than later.
In other words, act like a grownup. Be a responsible citizen. It’s really not that hard.