As public health officials worry about its rapid spread, the new variant Omicron has become the dominant variant across Florida.
As reported a few weeks earlier, the Omicron variant was leading to a surge of COVID cases in Miami and the rest of Florida. However, the virus is spreading faster and more fiercely than expected, and numbers have swiftly crossed 51,000 as of Monday, January 3, 2022.
The variant is highly-infectious, and this was proven by the increase in hospitalizations that has left people across the state grappling with symptoms that include having a cough, sore throat, runny nose, and perhaps mild fever. For others, symptoms may be more intense and life-threatening.
What may have contributed to the sudden surge?
Seeing as how Florida saw its biggest surge during the pandemic in the last few days of 2021, it’s safe to assume that the high-transmission rate of the virus, as well as the holiday season, may have contributed to the spike. Public health experts feared this spike in cases due to the holidays, anticipating a push-back from the general public due to increased restrictions.
After 2020’s subdued holiday season, and a year of grieving, losing, and fearing, it comes as no surprise that people are in the mood to make up for lost time. But that is perhaps where we went wrong, given how fast the new variant spreads and incubates.
However, definitive causes behind the surge are still not confirmed; we can only speculate.
How are vaccinations and public health measures helping?
Despite the increase in cases and hospitalizations, we can’t deny that public health measures have been essential to controlling the situation. With a vast majority of Florida residents having been immunized against the virus, as well as swift action from governmental bodies, things are still better than they could have been.
Fortunately, on the surface, Omicron’s symptoms are much less severe than previous variants, especially Delta. This may be in part due to higher global rates of vaccination which have offered a greater level of protection against the virus.
What are other impacts of this rise in cases?
Omicron’s spread isn’t just affecting hospitals and the health infrastructure, it’s also taken a toll on education as there is a shortage of teachers, as reported by NBC and other sources.
But there is still a lot to know and understand about its long-term impacts and the challenges it will present. If not effectively contained, the virus will continue to mutate, making it doubly challenging for us to cope with.
COVID-19 has continued to wreak havoc on not just Florida or the rest of the US but across the globe. It’s brought us to the brink of economic collapse, significant struggle, and so many new complications to deal with. With that being said, however, COVID has also revolutionized public health, education, and work structures, challenging them to adapt to technology faster than ever before.
As the variant continues to spread, the general public needs to take necessary precautions and protect themselves and their families. If you suspect that you may have developed symptoms, here’s where you can get tested.
Stay tuned as Calle Ocho News brings you the latest updates and insights on the news in Miami.