When the COVID-19 second wave arrived and left without much mishap, we were all relieved. We all returned to our jobs, lives, and normal plans to travel, marry or study. When COVID-19 introduced its new Variant Omicron, however, all of this became a conundrum.
We can’t even begin to address a variant about which we know so little and have so little assistance to offer the affected people. Many well-equipped countries, such as India, Israel, and others, have begun to employ booster doses because they believe being “completely vaccinated” is no longer sufficient. The real issue here is that regular boosters might have made sense if the vaccines prevented infection and spread of the virus.
When compared to the original strain of the virus, Omicron, the new variant is more aggressive, more transmissible, vaccine-resistant, and capable of causing more severe disease—or all of the above.
The only alternative we have now is to avoid catching Omicron for the following reasons:
- Little Information: We are inadequately and hilariously unprepared for the so many variants that have paralysed us not just as a nation but the whole world. The long-term ramifications of Omicron are unclear, so we’re back to square one (2019), fighting all over again.
People who dismiss Omicron as “minor” put themselves at risk of developing a debilitating condition that can last months or years. It’s unknown whether Omicron will have any of the “invisible” side effects reported in previous variations, such as self-attacking antibodies, sperm abnormalities, and changes in insulin-producing cells.
- Shortage of Vaccines: Vaccine apartheid is the most serious difficulty that small- and medium-sized economies have faced while large-scale economies have benefited.
Doctors must restrict Omicron treatments due to their unavailability. GlaxoSmithKline’s effective antibody medication sotrovimab is in short supply, as is Pfizer Inc’s novel oral antiviral therapy Paxlovid, which appears to be effective against Omicron.
- Omicron is not the last variant: The slideshow of COVID-19 variants doesn’t seem to end with Alpha, Beta, Delta and Delta AY.4.2 (aka Delta Plus). We still have a lot to know about Omicron and its ability to mutate.
Sadly, we have no way of predicting the evolutionary trajectory of this virus.
- Hospitals are crowded: The fact that COVID-19 variants are untreatable and that the world’s top medical experts can’t do anything about it is truly unfortunate. Since Wednesday, India has recorded almost 2.3 lakh new cases, with low fatality rates.
The increased number of instances has caused issues for cancer and heart patients who have been told to wait.
- Booster Shots are not helping: Booster injections must be precisely timed to the circulation of a variant in the population to prevent infections. Because the immunological boost had worn off, many persons who received the third dose in the fall were left exposed to omicron.
In two ways, booster injections might backfire:
- Repeated stimulation of the immune system causes “Anergy,” which causes the immune system to stop reacting to coronavirus vaccinations.
- The concept of Original Antigenic Sin appears to be more feasible. According to this theory, the immune system’s response is tuned to the original version of the virus, and subsequent varieties’ responses are significantly weaker.
In comparison to Delta, Omicron is more transmissible. What is less known is what makes it more transmissible and how rapidly it will spread globally. Young people made up the majority of the diagnoses. Cough, weariness, congestion, and a runny nose are all signs of covid-19, as are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea; even persons who have been twice vaccinated are at risk.
So, rather than greeting Omicron with both hands, it’s best to postpone crucial events. Even if you have immunity from a previous infection or vaccine, even if you get just mildly ill, you could spread the virus to someone else who is at risk of serious illness.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe, Be a Warrior!