After almost two years, we're all tired of dealing with Covid. A lot of people in Salem are going to want to party-on tomorrow night.
I urge you to do that responsibly.
Just as the admonition, "if you drink, don't drive," is intended to both protect the person who's drinking and others who could be harmed if they drive, the same applies to Covid.
You might think that it would be no big deal if you were infected, which probably would be with the Omicron variant. But keep in mind the risk to your friends, family members, co-workers, and such.
Omicron is super-contagious. That's why Covid cases in Oregon have been rising rapidly.
So seriously consider wearing a mask when you're not eating or drinking if you're out and about, even if you're vaccinated.
Reportedly most Omicron cases are like the flu if someone is fully vaccinated with a booster shot, and like a bad case of the flu if they haven't had a booster.
But having the flu isn't fun. And Covid can be much worse than the flu, especially if you're in a high risk group. Wearing a proper mask will help protect you and other people.
Here's some good news. South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first reported, says that the country has passed the peak of cases without a major spike in deaths.
“The speed with which the Omicron-driven fourth wave rose, peaked and then declined has been staggering,” said Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council. “Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over in the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave.” The rise in deaths over the period was small, and in the last week, officials said, “marginal.”
So the United States could see the same rapid fall in Omicron cases sometime in early 2022 -- all the more reason to be extra careful now.
“We’ll be in for a tough January, as cases will keep going up and peak, and then fall fast,” said Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington epidemiologist who is a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist. While cases will still overwhelm hospitals, he said, he expects that the proportion of hospitalized cases will be lower than in earlier waves.