Stricter guidelines should be enforced in light of Omicron variant

Maida Suta, Reporter

Now that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is being identified in the United States, stricter guidelines should be reinforced to mitigate the spread of the variant as well as to buy time in order to further analyze it.

Whether omicron brings about more severe symptoms compared to the original COVID-19 strain is yet to be seen, however it seems likely that it will be a more transmissible variant due to genetic code that overlaps with the common cold.

With that in mind, alongside the various possibilities a new variant brings, stricter guidelines should be put in place right now. 

Reintroducing occupancy limits, once again requiring face masks regardless of vaccination status and postponing large events like concerts would help curb the spread of omicron and buy scientists time to better understand the new variant.

Such limits are likely to be frustrating for most people, especially those who have been adhering to COVID-19 guidelines the whole time only to see such privileges be restricted again. With concerts and conventions making a comeback, seeing such progress be reeled back will leave people irritated and upset.

However, omicron introduces so many variables that it’s better to be safe than sorry. There have already been several events that have spread omicron further after attendants unknowingly showed up with the variant.

A total shutdown would likely be unnecessary and would be a bit out of place considering such considerations hadn’t even been made for the delta variant. Additionally, it’s hard to believe many people would comply with a complete shutdown almost two years into the pandemic.

But reinforcing and reintroducing some basic COVID-19 health and safety guidelines would bring some peace of mind, as now there are active measures being put in place to slow down omicron’s spread throughout the states.

Not only will the general public benefit through keeping omicron cases to an average low, but hospitals won’t be swamped with patients the way they have been since the emergence of the delta variant.

It’s time for officials to take the omicron variant seriously and reintroduce stricter COVID-19 guidelines for the public to ensure that omicron doesn’t overwhelm the populace like delta did.