OUR VIEW: Research Omicron variant, don’t overreact

Published 9:30 am Thursday, December 2, 2021

If you woke up this weekend and read the news following the Thanksgiving holiday, you probably saw news of the Omicron COVID-19 variant everywhere.

It’s already been described as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization and some countries have already barred flights from Southern Africa to help control transmission of the virus.

The first case in the United States was also identified on Wednesday.

The truth at this moment is that we know very little about Omicron. Does it make people sicker? Is it more easily transmissible? How well do the current vaccines work against it?

That information will come, and probably soon, but right now there’s not a lot known about the new variant.

We know it feels to be spreading quickly, but even that will be investigated in the days and weeks ahead.

At this point, our advice is to stay attentive and understand that this new variant is going around.

Our COVID-19 numbers locally have been low for several weeks, but a new variant could change that quickly and cause the situation to change. Or, maybe it won’t.

But for now, there’s no reason for people to be panicking, a word we’ve seen used across the media. We all should be concerned about Omicron, but the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated against the virus. If you have been vaccinated, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about the booster shot.

There’s a lot we don’t know right now, but that information will be available soon.

If you’re wondering about the latest information, we encourage you to read information from reputable sources. Do your research.

Don’t ignore it, but also don’t go crazy. Just pay attention until we know more information.