Virus Expert Just Issued This "Concerned" Warning
No matter what we do in America to control the coronavirus, the future of your health and safety is in the hands of everyone worldwide. (The rise of the new Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, proved that.) So when the World Health Organization warns that the COVID pandemic is not over, and new variants may emerge, it's best to listen. That's what they did just yesterday. Read on to hear 5 life-saving pieces of advice from them and other virus experts—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Virus Expert Warned This Pandemic is Nowhere Near Over
"This pandemic is nowhere near over," Director general of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters from WHO's headquarters in Geneva. "Omicron may be less severe, on average, but the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading," Tedros said. "Make no mistake: Omicron is causing hospitalizations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities." Despite it peaking in some countries, and in some American states like New York and possibly Florida—that "gives hope that the worst of this latest wave is done with, but no country is out of the woods yet." "This is a very difficult time during this surge," sais Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on CNN's State of the Union. "We are seeing high case numbers and hospitalization rates. And we're also seeing strain in many of our hospitals around the country."
Virus Expert Warned of New Variants
"With the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge," Tedros cautioned. Given that, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said yesterday that it's too early to tell if Omicron will mean the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Dr. Ashish Jha agrees. "But I guess I look at it a little bit differently," he said on CNBC's The News with Shepard Smith. "I mean, will there be future variants? Sure. Almost surely. There will be. The point is I think I'm hoping Omicron gives us the lessons we need to manage the rest of this pandemic, however long it lasts, and move to a new normal, where we treat this virus much more as an endemic thing." That time is not now however; as WHO said, we're in a pandemic.
Virus Expert Said to Stay Your Safest, Get Vaccinated
"Vaccines may be less effective at preventing infection and transmission of Omicron than they were for previous variants, but they still are exceptionally good at preventing serious disease and death," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Added Murthy: "We see that if you've had your primary series, that's your two shots of Pfizer or Moderna or your one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but you still have a decent protection against hospitalization and death, but you increase that protection even more and increase your protection against all infection by getting that booster shot. So to anyone out there, you know who hasn't gotten boosted yet, if you're at your five month mark, after your primary series of Moderna or Pfizer, get boosted. If you're two months post Johnson & Johnson, please get boosted as soon as you can."
Virus Expert Warns Our Healthcare Systems are Strained and Breaking
"Omicron continues to sweep the globe. I remain concerned about countries with low vaccination rates, as unvaccinated people are many times more at risk of severe illness & death. I urge everyone to do their best to reduce risk of infection & help take pressure off health systems," Dr. Ghebreyesus tweeted. COVID hospitalizations are rising so fast, "at this point, our healthcare system in this country is hanging on by the skin of its teeth." Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said yesterday on C-SPAN's Washington Journal yesterday. The pandemic is not over, he warned, and not only that, but worse variants may come. "We may have to be prepared for this again," he said.
How to Stay Safe Out There
"Now is not the time to give up and wave the white flag," he said. "We can still significantly reduce the impact of the current wave by sharing and using health tools effectively, and implementing public health and social measures that we know work." So follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.