New Covid-19 Variant Emerges Amid Holiday Cheer


Regan Burkart, Staff Writer

Omicron, the newest Covid variant, was discovered by Covid-19 researchers on November 23 in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named it as variant of concern. There have been a reported 183 cases worldwide . The variant has spread to a range of around 45 countries in counting, including United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Canada. The CDC and other health authorities have confirmed U.S. has had its first case of the new variant in California on December 1. The individual had tested positive after returning from a trip to South Africa. I asked a student from Glacier Peak about her thoughts about the variant, “My thoughts on the new variant is to be honest, it makes me nervous. Very nervous.” Isabelle Paulsen. Scientists and health officials say that Omicron has unique set of characteristics that might make it easier to spread, and show us a rise in cases. Scientists who track the evolution of Covid have found that Omicron shared a distinctive difference, it can avoid the bodies defenses built up from surviving Covid, or getting vaccinated.

A newest update from the Washington State Department of Health says that there have been three confirmed cases of Omicron in Washington State. The cases were found in Thurston County, Pierce County, and Kind county. These cases were confirmed mid-Saturday, December 4. Little is known about the cases themselves, but doctors speculate that they aren’t connected. Another big question that is being asked if Omicron’s symptoms more severe. According to the case in the U.S., as well as cases in Africa and Europe have not seen any severe Covid case symptoms that are worse than other variants. It is simply too early to tell, but that dosen’t mean that it isn’t.

I asked a student what we can do to keep people safe, “We all need to take cared of others. This means wearing masks.” Veronica Nelson said. Another student said, “Follow rules and regulations, listen to scientists, get vaccinated if you can, I know it’s scary and unsure for some people but it’s keeping our community safe.” Isabelle Paulsen.