By: Cindy Choi
Omicron first appeared in September or October 2021. It is the third COVID-19 variant of 2021 following Alpha and Delta. Omicron has caused chaos throughout the world, surprising everyone with yet another variant.
Omicron can spread faster than any other variant. People can spread Omicron even if they are vaccinated or don’t have any symptoms. People who had other COVID-19 variants are able to get re-infected with Omicron. It might take five to six days before the symptoms appear, or it could even go up to fourteen days. Some common symptoms of Omicron are, fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc… If you think you have any similar symptoms, stay isolated at home or seek emergency medical care soon as possible.
Omicron is very dangerous and can spread quickly, so you have to make yourself and others safe. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and others from Omicron or any other virus:
- Always wear your mask even when you are with a small group of people. It is more effective to wear a mask that is medical grade, such as N95, KN95, KN94. Wearing cloth masks are less effective because they do not block small droplets and only block big droplets, meaning that Omicron CAN go through a cloth mask alone. It can also cause trouble breathing.
- Since Omicron can spread more easily in crowded spaces, avoid them as much as you can. If one person in that group has Omicron, it’s a matter of time before a whole group has Omicron, Then it will double, triple, and could spread through a school!
- Get vaccinated and always be aware. Teenagers should be vaccinated because middle schools and high schools have a lot of people and they go to parties and move in groups a lot. They are the most common age to get Omicron. Vaccination prevents a lot of Omicron, setting boosters may prevent infection.
Omicron is very dangerous and it can also happen to you, so you always have to be careful not to spread it to other people or get it yourself. And if you think you have it, don’t hesitate and get medical care or a test. Especially during this time, we should all work together to end these viruses.