The Omicron end of the year

The end of the year holiday season is already there knocking at our doors and the COVID-19 pandemic is not over in 2021. More, we are menaced by a new strain of the virus: the Omicron, more aggressive and infectious. The flu season is also approaching. The travel plans for a get-together with friends and family is in jeopardy. One should ask what precautions to take when travelling or spending time with family members.

You still can enjoy the time but you should consider some practical advices while being away from the comfort of your home. Think about risk reduction and minimal exposure with the wear of mask and social distancing. Participate at outside activities and adjust your move to avoid taking too much risks. Testing may not be a bad idea occasionally to assure that you remain healthy

These precautions are important because we are uncertain on the way the variant Omicron of the corona virus will react on the population. It is a strain definitively more aggressive than the Delta strain but bringing with it la less symptomatic disease so far. Most of the states and the world have already discovered it aggressivity. We do know that it has infected more than 100 countries around the world and the number of cases is increasing. We still do not know much about this new strain except that it does not discriminate and like vaccinated people as well the immunocompromised population.

Omicron transmit rapidly and its severity is being studied with only one mortality reported in the state of Texas. Rare are the victim requiring hospitalization with pulmonary complications as noted with the Delta strain.

The end of the year’s festivities is known to have also a pic for the respiratory viruses and it is always wise to get vaccinated to be prepared for the new season. For many who may become symptomatic, the question can be: Is it the Flu? or is it the Coronavirus and what strain? Many viruses can cross our path like the Influenza or the rhinovirus which causes the common cold. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, the approach can be simple: get tested for COVID-19 and the Flu. Testing is good for your own health but also the loved one around you.

Do not let the holiday travel be stressful. Keep in mind that the ticket counter clerk at the airport, the person at the movie theater or the grocery store or the bystander you are going to approach, can all be a source of contamination. Wearing a mask is indeed protective for you and others., we are not making the rules to impose on your liberty but if it imposes on your liberty, it become a way to protect you and others. If you are asked to wear mask, it simply because those working in store or public places are doing their job. The need to cover your face while approaching anybody is protective for you and others. Happy Holidays.

Enjoy the holidays and be safe because this pandemic has changed our life in a way that bring flash back on the past years.

Maxime Coles MD

Boca Raton FL

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