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Omicron Is Not the Last Variant

See my earlier blog post on the delta variant.

On Aug. 30 of this year I wrote this blog post: “Delta Is Not the Last Variant!

Well duh! Hello omicron!

We don’t know everything we need to know about this new variant, but we do know one thing — it is very contagious. Just last week, omicron was responsible for 3 percent of all cases/infections in the United States, but this week it is 73 percent of all infections. I’d call that contagious.

It is also easy to predict that omicron will not be the last variant. With so much of the world’s population unvaccinated, we should expect more new variants. Perhaps the number of variants will even accelerate.

Back in June/July I wrote about not spiking the football too soon because of progress being made against the virus. At this point in the pandemic, the best plan is to figure that the virus will continue to have its way with us for years to come. We need the number of infections to only be in the tens of thousands before this pandemic becomes endemic: an organism that is restricted or particular to a locality or region.

What is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic?

An outbreak is called an epidemic when there is a sudden increase in cases. As COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan, China, it became an epidemic. Because the disease then spread across several countries and affected a large number of people, it was classified as a pandemic.

There is no light at the end of the virus tunnel.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.