Stay Frosty

Sideglance

There is something to be said about the evolving pandemic situation brought about by the SARS CoV- 2 virus that causes COVID-19 and its many variants, the latest being the omicron variant.

While it has already been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US that the omicron variant is likely to spread more easily that the original virus or its previous mutations – an online report of the New York Times stated that the number of Americans hospitalizedwithCOVID-19 had surpassed their last winters peak and the extreme threat posed by the virus continues in the US as the omicron variant spreads rapidly in that nation – there are also reports from experts, this one coming from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), that indicate that the spread of the omicron variant is nudging Covid into eventually becoming an endemic instead of a pandemic disease that humanity can finally live with as with other already existing endemic diseases.

Marco Cavaleri who is the head of the vaccine strategy of the European Union’s (EU) drug watchdog based in Amsterdam was clearly optimistic about the way the COVID pandemic is developing and said that, ‘With the increase of immunity in population—and with Omicron, there will be a lot of natural immunity taking place on top of vaccination — we will be fastmoving towards a scenario that will be closer to endemicity.” He also said that, “Nobody knows exactly when we will be at the end of the tunnel but we will be there”, but also cautioned that we must not forget that we are still in a pandemic.

For most of humanity which has been incessantly bombarded by the COVID pandemic these past two years the positive observations provided by experts offer a silver lining in an otherwise stressful and highly charged environment where a misstep in the observance of a health protocol tempts the risk of being infected with Covid-19.

So while we eagerly await more positive developments in the war against the COVID pandemic especially its latest mutation the omicron variant it would augur well for everyone to stay frosty as the title of this column suggests.

Stay frosty is military slang for “keeping ones cool” but nevertheless very cautious and alert in dangerous situations. When you keep your cool you are levelheaded and not prone to fits of outbursts or erratic and wild behavior in a highly volatile environment, which in military situations is usually during those moments when armed and violent confrontations are about to take place.

So if you want to survive the latest pandemic then you have to stay frosty. Now how to do that, well here in the Philippines we have our government and its instrumentalities such as the Department of Health, Task forces organized for the purpose and even designated “Czars” who are collecting, processing and evaluating all available data on the COVID-19 and issuing plans of actions that can be implemented as measures to fight and overcome the virus.

By simply following their advisories, guidance and even directives an ordinary citizen can stay frosty and survive the pandemic ordeal.

For now with the omicron variant currently ravaging so many nations the name of the game for everyone is to be cautious, levelheaded and alert. Stay frosty by taking these precautionary measures as suggested by medical experts: get a booster vaccine, limit your contacts, wear a face mask, ventilate indoor areas, use self tests, keep your distance, follow the homework rules, and follow quarantine and isolation rules.