CAUSE FOR CONCERN,
They call it omicron, a variant of COVID-19
first detected in South Africa that is considered
at this stage to be an even more
virulent form of the virus than the delta
Since South African authorities reported the
omicron variant last week, many other cases have
been detected around the globe. News of the variant
prompted a massive selloff in global stock markets
on Black Friday.
It also led Governor Kathy Hochul to preemptively
declare a state of emergency to ensure hospitals
are prepared for any anticipated surge in COVID-19
cases. Then on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on
the morning news programs that a new round of
mandates and lockdowns couldn’t be ruled out at
the present time.
But so much about the omicron variant remains
unknown — specifically if it impacts vaccine efficacy.
Health officials across the globe have said
there isn’t enough data yet to determine whether
this variant is vaccine resistant.
In the unlikely event that omicron is vaccine resistant,
then we have a major problem on our hands,
and it would threaten to undo the progress made in
the fight against this global pandemic.
However, these same fears were expressed
with the emergence of the delta variant — and as it
turned out, the vaccine proved effective at curbing
the spread and reducing the severity of infections.
No question, the emergence of any new COVID-19
variant is going to spark alarm.
And governments need to take measures to ensure
that we’re prepared to handle any possible
surge in cases appropriately.
Talk of potential shutdowns, however, is way
premature and alarmist. We lost so much as a society
during the height of COVID-19, and it would
be catastrophic to go back to those dark days of the
spring of 2020.
All the more reason for all of us to ensure that
we are vaccinated — that we get booster shots six
months after the second dose — and that we keep
up our guard in public to ensure that we keep ourselves
and our friends, families and neighbors safe.
We have every confidence that if all of us stand
together in protecting ourselves and ending this
pandemic, we can prevent omicron from causing
further tragedy and heartbreak in New York.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | Q 12 NS.COM | DEC. 3 - DEC. 9, 2021
BioNTech has started work on a vaccine tailored to omicron, the new COVID-19 variant.
Photo by Alexandros Avramidis/REUTERS
A WORRISOME NEW VARIANT
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A new COVID-19 variant named omicron has
just been identified in South Africa. Now
this has us here in America and the world
It has not been determined yet if this strain could
be deadlier but we have to wait and see and hope for
the best outcome. But the World Health Organization
fears it might be more transmissible because it
has 30 mutations in the virus spike protein. As reported,
President Joe Biden has taken the first step
to keep the virus out of the United States and will
be restricting flights from seven southern African
countries including South Africa. I hope and pray
that might help. As a senior citizen, I can’t help to
feel troubled and extremely worried. However, my
wife and I have gotten our three COVID-19 shots as
well as our flu shots, and we hope this will give us a
certain measure of protection. But because of this
new variant, I hope more people will wake up and
get their COVID-19 vaccines. Finally, may God protect
America and the world from this new variant..
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,