An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE OMICRON VARIANT is either a major new threat or nothing to worry about, depending on which expert you listen to.
Only a few days after its existence became public, the variant has spread to several countries and is now in several Canadian provinces as well. The first case in B.C. was confirmed yesterday, and more are almost certainly on the way.
Initial news reports painted a picture of a new Super COVID, a variant with a dozen different mutations that might spread more easily and be more deadly than even the Delta, and likely has a higher ability to re-infect. It might even be resistant to existing vaccines.
The World Health Organization says Omicron is a “variant of concern” and that the global risk is “very high.” Variants of concern, or VOCs, are those that, among other things, show signs of higher virulence and may challenge the effectiveness of current containment measures.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.