Corona is back on her game, and she is stronger than ever

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“Previous infection used to protect against Delta but now with Omicron that doesn’t seem to be the case,” Anne von Gottberg, microbiologist at NICD, said. As stated by top scientists from the global health body and South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) even though vaccines still may be somewhat against this new variant, those who have already been in contact with COVID-19 in the past are not safe. (Photo/Kayra Dayi)

As policies of masks are slowly being lifted in places, such as schools and workplaces, the danger and seriousness of COVID-19 is still there. Cases of Omicron have been identified in the United States, a new variant of COVID-19. 

The first day of December, Minnesota, New York and Colorado announced cases of the Omicron variant, following the one identified in California on Nov. 30th by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cases of the variant, however, were not that much of a shock for, at least, New York. “Let me be clear: This is not cause for alarm. We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread. Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said. 

The Omicron variant had first been identified in South Africa on Nov. 24. The signs started turning red once residents started to acknowledge the fact that this Omicron variant could have the capability to outcompete Delta. “We thought, what will outcompete Delta? That has always been the question, in terms of transmissibility at least, … perhaps this particular variant is the variant, “ Adrian Puren, acting executive director of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) stated. 

The symptoms of the new variant currently, as reported by anecdotal accounts by doctors who have treated South African COVID-19 patients, include mild symptoms such as a dry cough, fever and night sweats. 

Although this new variant may seem too far away and too mild, it does not mean it will not diffuse or become more deadly over time. A report released by WHO on Sunday reports that the new variant contains genetic mutations and has a high possibility of spreading globally. As stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, the best thing to do right now for an individual to remain as safe as possible is to wear a mask and get a vaccine in order to reduce their risk of getting COVID-19. 

Kayra Su Dayi came here from Turkey in 6th grade and will be in 9th grade next year. She loves painting the pictures of nature or animals which she takes with her camera when she finds something captivating or interesting. Aside from art, she plays tennis and competes in speech and debate. She prefers to give informative speeches, but is still in the process of exploring the broad range of speeches. She liked to volunteer at Flamingo Gardens before the pandemic every weekend. She is a member of NJHS and interested to join more clubs next year!