Dr. Kieran Quinn says he noticed a change in attitude among friends, colleagues and community members during the Omicron wave. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection)Infection seems inevitable, as preventive vigilance has been eroded by resignation.
Clinicians and scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto say they can sympathize with this pandemic fatigue as Omicron variants rage across Canada.
As Omicron gained a reputation as a “mild” viral variant, Quinn hoped to move beyond the latest, and in some cases, the most overwhelming waves of the pandemic, with some people “making it”. He says he understands why he is tempted to “tear.”
But Quinn and other doctors say Canadians can’t afford to be so cavalier about Omicron. Because the risk of infection appears low to some individuals, betting on the radical spread of the subspecies has devastating consequences for society as a whole.
“We need to go beyond ourselves and protect the most vulnerable people around us,” Quinn said. “If we pay attention to the wind and” tear it “, Omicron will spare those people. “
New evidence suggests that Omicron is less likely to cause more serious illness than previous COVID-19 strains, but Quinn says that these relative differences are still converted to absolute numbers. He said the impact of the new variant on the health system is not mild.
The UK Public Health Agency released preliminary data last month that found that people with Omicron variants were 50 to 70 percent less likely to require hospitalization than those with Delta strains. ..
Health Minister defends the need for mandatory tracker vaccines
However, studies show that Omicron is several times more infectious than its predecessor, Quinn said, adding that even if only a small percentage of infected people need treatment, a huge number of cases will overwhelm the hospital. rice field.
Dr. Katharine Smart, chairman of the Canadian Medical Association, said the surge in Omicron has already put the Canadian medical system under critical pressure.
Hospitals in many regions have been forced to cancel or postpone surgery to release beds due to the influx of COVID-19 patients. At the same time, the spread of the virus among health care workers exacerbates staff shortages.
“The reality is that Omicron is already at a prevailing pace … there’s really no room for wiggles,” said Whitehorse-based pediatrician Smart.
“It’s a big bet to deliberately try to infect Omicron and take the risk of needing medical care right now, as we’re actually seeing our health resources reaching their limits.”
BC modeling suggests that Omicron is declining
She does not give way to Canadians to “tear” complacency, but instead flattens the curve by reducing social contact, upgrading masks, and booking boosters of the COVID-19 vaccine. I urged him to decide.
“We can double ourselves, our friends, our neighbors and the community again, do what we have under our control and protect by really trying to stick together,” she said. ..
Quinn, who wrote an article last week at Healthy Debate about the pitfalls of the “ripping” approach, suggested that one Omicron case consider how it could spread to the social arena within a sixth degree of separation. He suggested that it is likely that the virus does not have too many links in the chain to reach those who are vulnerable to Omicron.
This could mean infecting people at high risk of serious health outcomes from Omicron, such as the elderly and individuals with weakened immunity, Quinn said. Even simple contact can cost someone money if they can’t work during self-quarantine.
Quinn said this indicates that vulnerable people will ultimately pay a catastrophic price if others decide to roll the dice at Omicron.
“We must not forget the greater good,” he said.
According to Quinn, most people will also find that catching Omicron is not in their best interests.
Omicron is not your typical winter bug, he said, and “mild” illness should not be confused with harmless. There are various symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, malaise, and body pain, the severity of which can range from imperceptible to debilitating.
Increased fear that some people are neglecting to be vigilant against Omicron variants
Second, there is a risk of developing long-term COVID-19. Last year, the World Health Organization reported that about one in four individuals infected with the virus experienced symptoms after COVID-19 infection for at least one month, and one in ten experienced the effects for more than 12 weeks. did.
Some people seem to believe that defeating Omicron leads to a welcome boost in immunity, but Dr. Luis Hugo Francescati of the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health has negatively hinted at the variant. The cost-effectiveness calculation of a tight coat is.
Francescutti said that overcoming Omicron is likely to provide some degree of innate immunity, but its benefits diminish over time and people are vulnerable to COVID-19 reinfection. rice field. He added that vaccination is a much safer way to build protection against the virus.
He is also skeptical of Omicron’s belief that COVID-19 is paving the way for endemic disease. In short, COVID-19 continues to circulate sporadically, but with more manageable social impacts.
According to Francescutti, predicting the trajectory of the virus is premature, and there are concerns about the emergence of new variants, especially due to the uneven distribution of vaccines around the world.
But he believes that the growing sentiment of “ripping” shows that Canada’s fragmented and inconsistent COVID-19 strategy is confusing the public about the threat posed by Omicron. ..
Francescutti says government officials have neglected to take the necessary steps to strengthen the medical system, expand testing and contact tracing capabilities, and combat vaccine hesitation, and strive to contain highly contagious variants. He said he seemed to raise his hand when he should have doubled.
If the leaders of Canada’s pandemic response seem ready to “tear it”, Francescati said it’s not surprising that some Canadians feel the same.
“It’s a pretty dire situation, and politicians and public health officials who pretend to be all under control are pretending to be exactly that,” he said.
“You think we’ll be more vigilant, but instead we’re looking for another way … and go,” Que sera, sera. ” And now it’s not time to sing that song. “
– Use files from Associated Press
This report by Canadian Press was first published on January 16, 2022.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
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