How to Remain Safe During the Omicron Surge

Reports about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant have been dominating the news cycle recently. If you’re finding yourself somewhat uncertain about how to stay safe during this surge, you might be experiencing Déjà vu that brings back memories of the uncertainty we all felt at the beginning of this pandemic in early 2020. Fortunately, there are ways you can remain safe. If you comply with basic health safety guidelines, get yourself vaccinated, and use a coronavirus home test kit if need be, you can get through the omicron surge. Read on to know more.

Is it safe to be around other people right now?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing very clear. Whenever people get together indoors, there is always the risk of an infected person spreading the virus to other people around them. Even if you take every precaution, such as wearing a mask and using disposable gloves, you are still at risk if you are indoors and in the presence of other people. This new reality of our life in 2022 makes it imperative that you try to be sensible about your social activities and consider the level of risk you are willing to accept.

As a general rule, the more people there are in any social gathering, the higher the risk will be. You should try to limit your movements to avoid large gatherings of people. The safest option is to limit your physical interactions with other people only if it is for urgent and important matters. Try to restrict your physical presence to as few people as you can, such as the people in your household.

If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, you should make it a priority and get your shot as soon as possible. There is irrefutable proof now that vaccines help in the fight against COVID-19. They are effective at reducing the severity of a COVID-19 infection, including an infection of the Omicron variant. Booster shots are recommended for anyone older than 12 years. If you have previously been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with your second shot being at least 5 months ago, you are advised to get a 3rd booster shot. For people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a 3rd booster shot two months after your J&J jab is recommended. 

Can I remain safe when I go out to stock up on essentials?

Going to get groceries and other essential items is safer than going to a restaurant or pub. Unless you are immunocompromised and have a weakened immune system, you should just try to visit the grocery store in off-hours to avoid getting caught in a crowd of people. Getting vaccinated and getting the booster shot are things you can do to minimise the risk to you regardless of what your activities are. Vaccines are an effective way to protect yourself from getting seriously sick if you catch the Omicron variant.

Is it safe to travel?

If you decide to travel at the present time, you will be putting yourself at risk of getting infected from any of a number of possible infection vectors at any stage of your journey. One of the biggest risks associated with travelling is the difficulty of staying at least six feet away from other people in crowded places like airports and train stations and inside the closed environments of aeroplanes, buses, and trains. Another risk factor linked to travelling is the prevalence of COVID-19 at your destination and your plans once you get there. You can find out the extent of COVID-19 prevalence at your destination by getting the latest facts and figures from the WHO Coronavirus dashboard and double-check the information from your destination’s official government information sources.

What measures can I take if I can’t avoid travelling

Countries all over the world have different rules and restrictions for travellers arriving from abroad. Before you make your travel plans, find out what the requirements are for being allowed entry at your destination, especially the testing requirements. Some countries, including the UK, have begun to accept the lateral flow test fit as a required test to show whether you are infected with COVID-19. Give yourself enough time to get the test done and find out your results before travelling. The lateral flow antigen test gives a result within just half an hour of taking it, while the results of a PCR test are usually available within 24 to 48 hours of taking it. You can take the LFT test by yourself by using the coronavirus home test kit, and it will give the result with the provided test strip, so you don’t need to send it to a lab for testing.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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