Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
Is the COVID-19 pandemic almost over? ‘America Talks Health with Dr. Keith Robinson’
The question hiding in the backs of most of our minds is very obvious: “Is the COVID-19 Omicron variant the last of this disease?”
The sad truth is this: nobody knows; not even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While the numbers of people being affected by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are beginning to drop, there are still 82,087,117 US citizens who have the disease and 996,376 total US deaths. While those numbers remind us that COVID-19 is still here, at least the symptom intensity of this variant seems to be diminished. There is no reason to drop our concern for this disease which is so easily transmitted to others close to us.
According to the CDC, “The SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly changing and accumulating mutations in its genetic code over time. New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are expected to continue to emerge. Some variants will emerge and disappear, while others will emerge and continue to spread and may replace previous variants.”
Pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 have one goal: They seek ‘to survive’ and they do it by mutating so they can be hidden from the immune system in each of our bodies. The Omicron variant is very good at infecting people very quickly. That’s why the CDC has Omicron listed as a Variant of Concern (VoC). People even without COVID-19 symptoms can infect others.
For the longest time it was thought that COVID-19 could only travel up to 6 feet, but the medical literature now suggests that it can travel up to 26 feet and sometimes be floating in the air for hours to days. So, for now, use an N-95 mask and keep your distance from others as much as possible. COVID-19 and its Variants are believed to travel on the moisture (droplets and aerosols) that we breath out. We can’t see them…but we must be careful anyway. Omicron is not the last pathogen we all will face.
So, if you want to feel better tomorrow than you do today, keep coming back to the ‘America Talks Health with Dr. Keith Robinson’ column here on USAfricaOnline.com. He is a health journalist and public policy analyst.