With the lifting of restrictions and leniency towards mask-wearing — everyone’s wondering: is the pandemic over yet? At present, the World Health Organization recognizes COVID-19 as a global emergency. With this, it is still important for us to be cautious and to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus. Especially since different COVID-19 variants continue to exist.
To illustrate, the variant XBB 1.5 has been dominating the cases in all the US regions. XBB 1.5 is a subvariant of the Omicron and it has been described as the most transmissible strain and contagious strain so far. An infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Scott Roberts, claims that even people who have a form of protection either from vaccination or a recent case of COVID-19 have been infected by the XBB 1.5 variant.
Although the current variants are not causing severe diseases, we should still be concerned about the cases. This is in consideration of those people who are at high risk due to their age or by being immunocompromised. Remember, the more infections there are, the more likely the virus can evolve further. Despite the longevity of this virus let us not underestimate it – it will continue to kill people unless we do more to fight it.
WHO Chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus states that the end of the pandemic is in sight. We remain hopeful with this statement. Especially now that we can go back to our usual routines without worrying about the grip that the pandemic had on us. Let us all enjoy and appreciate the circumstance we are in. However, don’t disregard your safety.