The Omicron surge is the most widely spread so far, overtaking its predecessor, Delta, in terms of 7-day average case counts. Because of this, the late COVID-19 variant has been hailed as the most superior strain to date, but luckily is less severe and fatal compared to variants past.
While Omicron is, by a long shot, more transmissible than Delta and other previous strains of the virus, its symptoms are milder. Omicron-infected individuals are less likely to be hospitalized and can tend to their symptoms and recover at home. This led infectious disease experts to believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching its end, suspecting that it will step into the endemic stage late this year.
However optimistic the scientific community has become with regards to COVID-19’s endemicity, however, they do warn of the possibility of another COVID-19 surge. With a new variant, BA.2, beginning to surface, it’s clear that we may be faced with a new wave of infections soon.
Experts on the Possibility of a New COVID-19 Surge
Experts are weighing in on the possibility of a new COVID-19 surge post-Omicron. A vaccine scientist from Baylor University College of Medicine, Dr. Peter Hotez, predicts that it’s not the end of COVID-19 mutations, particularly because most low and middle-income countries have not yet fully vaccinated the majority of their population.
According to White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, while a new surge is not far-fetched, it could hinder our road to immune protection and ultimately, COVID-19’s endemicity.
What Needs to Happen Now
Omicron cases may be dropping as fast as they rose in late November of 2021. While that may seem like a good sign, experts are wary of being too hopeful. There’s nothing stopping COVID-19 from mutating and creating new variants that could potentially put us back to square one. But there is still something we can do about it.
What’s hindering complete herd immunity is a massive vaccination gap in many parts of the world, creating conditions for COVID-19 to mutate and circulate. Ultimately, vaccines (and boosters), along with precautionary measures like mask-wearing and social distancing, are the main forces that will help us fight the virus and redeem the pre-pandemic normalcy we’re all craving.