Mark Valgos (9th), Reporter

The Omicron variat, we’ve all heard of it, but what are a few things that haven’t been mentioned? Are different sources saying different things? What is the true source to check? We’ll probably never know.


What we do know, however, is that this new Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire. Suddenly after Christmas, everybody has COVID, but what does it mean? Well, first of all it is important to note that while case numbers are skyrocketing, the number of people being hospitalized is not. This leads to the conclusion that this new variant is far more transmissible, while being far less severe. With more people getting the virus, it may seem that everybody has corona, and while not everybody does, many people do. That is why it is more important than ever to stay safe and do your best to restrict the possibility of spreading the virus to the more vulnerable people in your life. 


Additionally, there is evidence to prove that the Omicron variant varies from previous variants in one very important way; it very rarely affects the lungs. In the past variants have used two paths, your upper and lower respiratory tract, the latter of which leads the virus to your lungs. This is what generally causes the very severe cases we had been hearing about. Omicron, however, has a tendency to stay in the upper respiratory tract, never going into the lower and therefore never infecting the lungs. What this means is that the number of very severe cases are going to decrease as the number of Delta cases decrease.


With all of that said, though, we still cannot just let COVID leave our minds. Obviously since case numbers are climbing there is still some degree of threat there. Although, the number of people in hospitals is only increasing slightly, with non-vaccinated people dying much more frequently. So, while COVID does seem to be entering more into its endemic state, there will still be a small bit of worry surrounding this virus for probably another 6 months to a year. I think that we can all just hope that by next year masks won’t be necessary and we won’t be getting phone calls every other day about being in close contact. Oh, and lets hope we don’t have to have our noses swabbed too many more times in the future, and hope that all returns to normal at some time in 2022. On the bright side, though, this whole experience will make one heck of a story.