The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had quite an effect on the whole world. The medical staff, scientists, and other concerned authorities have been on alert ever since then. Populations around the world are made to follow the stick lockdowns and suspected, or affected ones are forced to live in quarantine. Ever since then, COVID-19 and the related things have never been a much-liked topic.
The pandemic made us change our lifestyles. It introduced the work from home practice. People are restricted from traveling because coronavirus spreads quite easily. Almost all the countries around the world imposed lockdowns for months. That resulted in serious economic detriment. It was so destructive that most of the countries called for an emergency. The death rate had been alarming.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in China in early December 2019. It has been more than two years now. The vaccine for this virus will be developed by the end of 2020. Most of the countries are still under the process of making the whole population vaccinated. But the vaccine does not seem to be the answer since we are to face the new variants of this pandemic.
Emergence of Omicron
Omicron is the latest variant of coronavirus that is potentially more transmissible. The emergence of this variant is reported by South African Health authorities. They warned the world about serious outcomes. As a result of this, most of the countries banned travel from South African countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) named this variant Omicron because it is a variant of concern. This variant is not only detected in South Africa but also in some parts of Hong Kong and Belgium. Omicron appears to be spreading at a much faster rate. It is important to note that Omicron has a high number of mutations that make it more transmissible and result in immune evasion.
Omicron and its Mutation
It was reported by the South African scientists that Omicron has a high number of mutations that have more than 30 in the key spike protein. That is a matter of concern because it could result in immune evasion. The question about evading immunity is still to be found out.
The vaccine stands to be the light of hope. That is because most scientists believe that Omicron would not be able to harm people to death. After all, most of the population is vaccinated. The South African population is fully vaccinated, which is a sigh of relief for the government.
While other scientists believe that vaccines will not be able to fight this variant of coronavirus. There is a high risk of reinfection, which is causing fear among the population. None of the scientists are sure in their stance because they don’t have enough data.
Omicron Compared to Other Variants
Coronavirus came with quite a lot of variants. Each seemed to be dangerous. But, it turned out that they are not that harmful. A lot of people with good immunity were able to fight the variants. Scientists believe that the same would go for Omicron.
However, Jha, one of the eminent scientists, is of the view that Omicron is acting really differently. So, one cannot pass the judgment so soon. He believes that Omicron seems even more contagious than the Delta variant of coronavirus.
The Delta variant emerged in the summer of 2021. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox. In this regard, Jha is of the view that it took months for scientists to know the exact nature of the Delta variant. Therefore, the concerned authorities and governments should take the possible measures to save lives.
Researches to Better Understand Omicron
South African researchers and even others are working to improve under Omicron. To test the effectiveness of vaccines, the blood samples of vaccinated people are taken. If the results don’t appear to be in the favor, the next possible strategy could be boosting people with a larger dose. But this also needs to be tested before implementation.
What are You Supposed to do?
As a responsible citizen, you are required to follow the orders or rules issued by your government. Follow the SOPs because following the SOPs is more effective compared to the vaccine itself. The travel restrictions imposed by the government are for your own so, it is better that you cooperate and don’t panic.
The scientists, doctors, and government are doing what they can do best to make the situation better and bring life back to normal. To some, this is the new normal; wearing the mask, taking good care of your hygiene, avoiding crowds, and staying in quarantine in case of any symptoms.