From the beginning of the pandemic, the one thing we have been told is certain is that we will have to live with uncertainty. As new variants were identified and named, and then spread around the world, this has proven true.
The first rounds of variants that caused so much infection and death were identified and isolated. Around the world, governments developed vaccines that were effective in reducing infection and the severity of the illness caused by COVID.
This round of isolation, social distancing, shut downs, and vaccination largely worked. Around the world economies have been able to re-open as highly vaccinated populations returned to life that felt more normal, if not completely the way they were before.
But the virus was not done. As any virus does, it mutated over time. Infected individuals passed the virus around and newer, more virulent strains emerged. Some of those strains are effectively increasing the spread of COVID.
What those new variants can do
New variants of viruses happen all the time. Most resemble the original virus so much that vaccines will continue to be effective. And always masking, surface treatments, and taking proper precautions in areas with high infection rates will prevent their spread.
However, some variants are more contagious than others. And worryingly, some of those variants can cause a different or more severe version of illness.
The fastest spreading variant right now is called Omicron. Luckily, while it is more contagious, it is less deadly. So now more people are getting COVID but with milder symptoms, and while death rates overall are rising, Omicron doesn’t seem to be more deadly than other variants.
How to stop them
There are lots of steps individuals can take to protect themselves against variants. They remain the same as they are during flu season or the rest of the pandemic:
- Disinfecting countertops and doorknobs
- Wearing a mask indoors
- Isolating yourself if you are showing symptoms
On a larger level, it remains the responsibility of companies working with the government to develop new vaccines that can stop the spread of new variants, as we do with the flu each season.
Finally, if you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of people who live, work, or play in a building you manage, you should contract with trusted professionals to treat surfaces and the air against viruses. Dry Patrol offers state-of-the-art treatment of your building. Contact us to learn more.
Photo by Edward Jenner: https://www.pexels.com/photo/concept-of-covid-19-in-red-background-4031867/