As COVID-19 continues to infect people across the world, new variants spark more fear about the pandemic. Omicron was first seen in the United States in December and now case numbers have shot up all over the country.
Though confirmed COVID-19 case numbers have been on the rise again, so far it’s safe to say that this variant is milder and less dangerous than other variants we’ve seen, but easily transmissible. The daytime news show “GMA3” reported that Omicron is 91 percent less deadly than the initial COVID virus.
According to the New York Times, “someone infected with Omicron is less likely to need hospital treatment than someone infected with an earlier version of COVID.”
CNBC recently reported Omicron accounts for 90 percent of cases in many cities across the country. Hospitals have seen a high volume of patients coming in with COVID in recent weeks, but according to the New York Times, “Omicron does not attack the lungs as earlier versions of COVID did,” but instead on the nose and throat making it less harmful to those who get it.
The fact that this variant is less harmful than past ones doesn’t mean that it should be taken less seriously. If you get COVID, who’s to say that the variant you get will be the less aggressive one? No one can predict that at this point. These high case numbers are another indicator that the COVID-19 is here to stay for a while.
“It’s definitely going to continue. I think the vaccine definitely needs to be pushed more,” said Monique Petty-Ashmeade, a sophomore at DePaul University.
Safety measures such as wearing a mask or face covering, practicing social distancing, washing your hands and cleaning frequently touched surfaces often have proven to keep people more safe from the virus and should be continued.
Being fully vaccinated and receiving the booster shot continue to be pushed as the best means of protection. Whenever possible, take the proper precautions to ensure that you and those around you are staying safe and healthy.
By Cierra Lemott, Sophomore, Columbia College Chicago