Omicron: Good, Bad, Ugly

Every cloud has a silver lining. The increase in COVID cases means we will arrive at herd immunity more rapidly. Unfortunately, the healthcare system is overwhelmed by sick people. In general, the omicron variant produces milder disease for healthy people. It leads to more silent cases.

For this reason, it is difficult to determine the difference between COVID and a cold. Consider an over-the-counter test if your child has fever, cough, runny nose, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. If a school requires testing verification, then come to the office for testing.

It isn’t over yet. Hospitalizations have increased in children and middle-aged people (30-50 years). Most hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people. Younger people with unrecognized heart and lung diseases are dying. Vaccination is the best weapon against severe illness and fatality. There is no medicine.

COVID does not respect country borders. The vaccine is not available to people living in developing countries worldwide. In these countries, healthcare is unavailable or unaffordable. These economies are closed. The average person has no income—this causes famine and starvation.

Sometimes the best defense is an offense. New variants can only arise when there are people to infect—shutting down the ability for the virus to infect nonimmune populations of people worldwide will reduce the creation of new variants.

In the past, we have defeated other deadly viruses. We don’t talk much about smallpox. It was a fatal virus that killed millions over thousands of years. Smallpox is gone. We defeated it with vaccination. Unless we work together, the pandemic will go on for years. We will win or lose together.