You’re getting an unexpected Christmas gift this year, and surprisingly it’s from the COVID-19 virus itself. You’ll be happy to know that it’s gone through the steps many other viruses take and has become highly contagious but far less deadly than its original variant.
But this isn’t new news, which is why few people actually seem to be afraid of it. According to a recent poll from Axios-Ipsos, the fear is more or less abated and Christmas is going to see family gatherings across the nation. The Daily Caller broke down the poll results:
When it comes to their own holiday plans, though, those surveyed were less likely to support big changes. Only 23% of respondents said they plan to cancel holiday travel plans, and 28% said they plan to stop gathering with people outside their household. One-third said they will stop eating at indoor restaurants. Sixty-two percent did say they would likely mask up in indoor settings due to Omicron.
As of now, Omicron is definitely making its way across America and swiftly, but according to reports the symptoms of Omicron are incredibly mild, mirroring the common cold more than a ravaging virus according to a ZOE COVID Symptoms Study.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 deaths are set to soar by a whopping 73 percent, however, the doctor who originally discovered Omicron thinks everyone is overreacting to the virus. In an interview with Spiked Online, GP, and chair of the South African Medical Association, Angelique Coetzee, thinks you should still practice masking up and social distancing, but thinks the world needs to be calmer about Omicron.
Coetzee noted Omicron’s symptoms are body aches, headache, fatigue, and possibly a scratchy throat with a dry cough, but no loss of smell or taste or a need for oxygen.
“Most of our patients have these mild symptoms. Vaccinated patients have them as well, but the myalgia, headache, and tiredness are not as severe for them as they are among the unvaccinated,” Coetzee said.
(READ: Reports Show Omicron Is the Least Severe Variant of COVID-19 Yet)
The Director of the Center for HIV Cure Research at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, Warner Greene, sees the mild nature of Omicron as a good thing, hoping that it pushes Delta out as the predominant COVID-19 variant.
(READ: Joe Biden’s Latest Message on COVID Should Anger You)
“It would be a great thing if, in fact, omicron crowded out delta. If omicron was a less pathogenic virus,” said Greene.
To boot, in South Africa where it’s thought to originate, Omicron hospitalizations are falling rapidly according to Bloomberg:
Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference.
It should be made clear that Omicron is still in its early stages, but if the mild nature of the virus stays constant then you might be facing down the threat of a cold if you catch Omicron.
With the virus this mild, it’s likely that the fear of COVID-19 will fall along with hospitalization rates, effectively making the fear of the virus just as done as the pandemic.