Scientists Investigate the Potential Risks of the New COVID-19 Omicron Variant


Photo courtesy of Sky News.

Erika James Mendoza, Co-Editor in Chief

A new variant of COVID has shocked the world again. The first sightings of Omicron were discovered in South Africa amidst Thanksgiving break, November 26, 2021. It all happened when a tourist experienced mild symptoms. Thinking it was COVID, health inspectors reached out and discovered a variant possibly more lethal than Delta. 

The tourist confirmed that they were vaccinated; however, they took no booster shots. Health inspectors have ordered them to self-quarantine. Amidst the news: other tourists as well left the country, afraid of contamination. So far there have been a few sightings of Omicron in the US, including in San Francisco, New York, and Minnesota. A few cases were also found roaming in other countries such as India, Portugal, Australia, and the UK. Europe has higher contaminations of Omicron. The Netherlands has the highest cases of it. The country itself has set a curfew to prevent further cases.

Government officials such as President Biden have encouraged citizens to vaccinate themselves in order to prevent the variant from spreading. The best way to protect everyone is through vaccinations, booster shots, and this time, wearing extra masks. 

There’s a possible theory that Omicron is immune to vaccines and more likely infectious than any of the previous variants. However there is still much to discover yet about this new variant. Scientists, as we speak, are still analyzing the databases to confirm how dangerous the new variant is. 

Airline officials as well have tightened security regulations. They are making sure that everyone gets tested before and after flights, and as well as checking that everyone wears their masks. 

It is crucial to know that even with this new variant, people are still dying from COVID-19. The best way to keep safe is through vaccinations, quarantines, wearing masks, and most importantly, washing your hands.