New Covid-19 Variant May End Pandemic After Two Years

The Quick Rise of Omicron


Jack Godek

Defending against Delta: Students wear masks to prevent Covid-19. Taken Dec. 21, 2021.

Connor Nieman and Ronan Smith

     Variants for Covid-19 have often caused fear. From the early variants to delta, they have often changed the virus’ strength or its ability to spread. However, recent developments in South Africa may pave the road to the end.

     As of December 21, the Omicron variant of Covid-19, originally discovered in southern Africa only a month before, was proven by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to account for 73% of total cases. Omicron has an increased speed of transmission. However, as of December 21, only one person has been confirmed to have died due to the variant, as reported by Houston’s KHOU-11 news.

     This means that the virus may have mutated into a weak, though quick spreading, variant, which will lead to natural immunity for many who were and will be infected. 

     In fact, the spread of the Omicron variant may actually be beneficial to the US, and may allow many who cannot otherwise receive a vaccine, such as those with heart issues, to gain natural immunity far safer than otherwise.

     This very cycle occurred no less than 100 years ago, when a virus (believed to be H1N1) spread through the country during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The strongest variant came second, just as delta did, and the pandemic only ended when a weaker virus strain infected the country, which provided citizens with much-needed natural immunity.

     The very same pattern is showing up in America today, where the now former NIH Director said to NPR “…we could be having a million cases a day if we’re not really attentive to all of those mitigation strategies.”

     Despite this, many mainstream media outlets continue to cover the Omicron variant as something that will plunge the United States back into the lockdown period of the pandemic.  

     While Omicron is contagious, the risk of death from Covid-19 in general is much lower than it was in the early pandemic days. With the new variant, on the other hand, it is even less.

     For the average person, whether unvaccinated or vaccinated, it looks as though brighter times are ahead, and the country and the world may soon be out of the chaos of Covid-19.