Omicron virus from South Africa strikes fear

The first case confirmed in the U.S


As the threat of Omicron virus continues to spark fear globally, the unsettlement for whether the possiblity schools will remain open is undecided.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to delay the global economic recovery from the pandemic. Omicron is the newest “variant of concern” as designated by the world health organization. The omicron virus has been detected in 23 countries and territories as of Dec 1. It has been reported that there are over 200 cases worldwide and the virus is claimed to have originated from South Africa.

The United States have confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa.

Scientists around the world are racing to find out whether the Omicron virus is more dangerous than previous strains of Covid-19. The problem is that the new variant continues to emerge and is already starting to spread around the world and there is no way to stop the variant from spreading now.

Evidence that the variant has already started to spread globally first came from Brazil as they identified cases of the Omicron virus, the first cases in Latin america. Health workers in South Africa have had their hands full since the first case of the Omicron variant was detected and there has been a rapid surge in case numbers since then. South Africa’s public health authorities warned that more children and younger adults are now being hospital with Covid-19. The Omicron variant spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.

It is difficult to see what impact the new variant will have in the upcoming new year and whether schools need to consider closing again. Schools across the state are expected to receive more testing kits and vaccination opportunities. Many are wondering if lockdowns are going to return. New covid safety protocols have been put in place in schools in response to the new variant.

“The new variant of the virus will not close schools for now as it would be a problem but schools may increase student safety by creating new regulations to prevent the spread of the virus,”senior Melany Arevalo Guzman said.

Schools are communicating with parents even more now ever since the Omicron variant was revealed and are ensuring students are all vaccinated.

Covid appropriate behavior must be imbibed by all staff with the commitment to maintain safety while being present at school. Schools are demanding parents to inform them about any concern over their child’s well being, “My child isn’t feeling well today and cannot go to school.” is the common courtesy to acknowledge others and to prevent them putting others at risk.

It is urged that students get vaccinated as the holidays approach. Students are going to be around other relatives and some are going to travel. It is recommended that students are fully vaccinated before they come back after the holiday season.

“I don’t think schools will close because people are starting to get the hang of the new guidelines but its possible schools will start taking more precautions,” freshman Margarete Tran said.

Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated, to get boosters and to continue to wear masks in public and to maintain distance by avoiding large crowds. The biden administration is moving to toughen test requirements for international travelers to the U.S. Shutting down schools is the last option that schools should seek to avoid.