As we head toward our third year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no denying that we’re still struggling to adapt to this ‘new normal’. Where governments and healthcare professionals are struggling to encourage people to maintain healthy practices and behaviors, human nature and medicine have allowed us to get lax as well.
With the advent of the vaccine and a drop in transmissions earlier this year, much of life, as usual, resumed, and we assumed we were in the clear—till Omicron hit.
What we know about the Omicron variant
The latest known variant of COVID-19, known as Omicron, is highly-transmissible, and it’s believed that this variant is still affecting individuals who are fully vaccinated. Symptoms overlap with the common cold and flu, appearing as cough, runny noses, congestion, and fatigue. However, given how recently this variant was discovered, there’s insufficient scientific evidence and data that we can rely on at present, but there’s conclusive evidence of less lung damage due to it.
It’s been said to act in ways similar to bronchitis rather than pneumonia the way previous variants, especially the Delta variant, did. Incubation periods are also shorter, and symptoms show up sooner, and testing within 72 hours of exposure is recommended.
What the city of Miami is doing to keep people safe
Currently, over 80% of the COVID-19 cases in Miami are of the Omicron variant, which means citizens and the government alike must be very proactive in monitoring and containing the spread. From hospitals limiting access to pre-appointments and medical emergencies to mandating regular testing for travelers and tourists, measures are being taken at various levels to limit the spread.
However, it’s quite financially draining and challenging to keep up with these fluctuating guidelines and changes every few months, so vigilance from the general public is also necessary.
Govenrment officials have been meeting to decide whether to make adjustments or not considering the fact that any shift in protocol causes a domino effect throughout of many systems they are being conservative and requiring anyone entering into government buildings to wear masks.
Many businesses have been permanently impacted. For example, since the curfews happened many businesses that were allowed to operate during the late night hours now have noise ordinances in place preventing them from doing so. These businesses model revolve around music and loud music at that so if they can’t play music then they can’t draw crowds. The amount of hours reduced affect them greatly because a lot of consumers consume during the late hours. I mean we can all agree Miami is a party city so music is required,
How you can protect yourself and your loved ones
While there isn’t a 100% guarantee that infections will not occur after vaccination, your best chance to stay safe is by getting the booster shot if you’re already vaccinated. If you’re unvaccinated, now is the time to get your first dose and build your immunity against the virus.
Additionally, follow all previous guidelines set by the CDC, including wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing rules, and isolating if you get sick. Since this variant is more transmissible and has a shorter incubation time, your best bet is to practice isolation till you’re in the clear if you fall sick.
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