DAVE ROSS

Mayfield: How scared of the omicron variant should we actually be?

Nov 29, 2021, 7:41 AM | Updated: 10:45 am
Omicron...
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Written by Travis Mayfield, filling in for Dave Ross on Seattle’s Morning News

The omicron variant is stranding travelers and rattling markets. It just sounds scary, and it just might be too.

But what if it’s not? What if it’s just the next variant? What if our vaccines and masks offer the same protection they’ve been offering?

We just don’t know … yet. So, why are we all so worked up already?

Maybe it’s that name: omicron. We name these things by the Greek alphabet now, having already run through alpha, beta, and delta, among others. Why omicron? It turns out we skipped nu and xi, because nu sounds like it’s new and after two years, this isn’t new, and xi is the name of the Chinese leader. Let’s not go there again, so here we are at omicron.

I guess that’s better than Unicron, a Decepticon war lord from “Transformers.”

Still, that’s the point, right? It sounds scary. It sounds like it’s going to kill us, and it just might.

Yet, could we take a beat and remember how we’ve been doing this — since March of 2020? We have people on it, and we know what works.

Maybe this is a good reminder, too. This thing is here to stay — they call that endemic — and not something that will ever fully be over.

So, protect yourself and live your life until they confirm through science that this thing really is a robot supervillain set on world domination.

Then it’ll be scary.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: How scared of the omicron variant should we actually be?