Surprise, surprise, there are now two new subvariants of the BA.2 Omicron subvariant of the Covid-19 coronavirus. And they have the super easy to remember names BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1. These two BA.2 sublineages already constitute approximately 80.6% of all Covid-19 infections in New York State. The Covid-19 coronavirus was like boy bands in the 1990s and 2000s with new variations emerging quite often. When a new edition of the virus, BA.2.12.1, appears to be 23% to 27% more transmissible than the original BA.2 Omicron subvariant, it can go from being a new kid on the block to a big rush. virus time pretty quickly.
It can also lead to something that rhymes with “sup bling”. Indeed, central New York is experiencing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases. In fact, in recent days, all counties in central New York are moving in the same direction with increases in both the total number of Covid-19 cases reported each day and the percentage of all tests coming back positive for SARS. -CoV- 2. It is unclear whether these new subvariants are more likely to cause symptoms or more severe Covid-19 than BA.2. In other words, there hasn’t been enough time to determine what percentage of infected people will end up having temperatures well above 98 degrees or any other type of symptom.
In a press release from the New York State Department of Health, State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “We are alerting the public to two subvariants of Omicron, newly emerging and rapidly spreading in upstate New York, so New Yorkers can take action. quickly.” Bassett seemed to want everyone to get “*NSYNC” when it comes to Covid-19 precautions. She recommended that New Yorkers “be fully vaccinated and boosted, test after exposure, symptoms or travel, consider wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, and consult with your healthcare provider about treatment if you test positive.”
The word “consider” is certainly not as strong as “you should”. For example, saying “consider not letting your dog drive your car” would not be the same as saying “you shouldn’t let your dog drive your car”. So it’s unclear how many people will end up following Bassett’s recommendation. Over the past two months, many places across the United States have lifted Covid-19 precautions like face mask requirements. The current concern is that such a relaxation of precautions would make everyone more vulnerable to another surge of Covid-19 and would end up being another example of premature easing during the pandemic, as I have described for Forbes previously.
Of course, a resumption of Covid-19 will not necessarily turn into a surge. And even if another Covid-19 surge were to occur, chances are it won’t be as big as the one that happened in late 2021 to early 2022. The weather is getting warmer and becomes more humid, which can help reduce the transmission of the virus. Many more people have been vaccinated or infected with SARS-CoV-2 since November 2021. The more your immune system sees this spike protein, the less likely you are to have more severe Covid-19.
Nonetheless, it’s still a good idea to maintain multiple layers of Covid-19 precautions whenever you can. If you want to go without a mask and without social distancing in a public place indoors, tell me why. Putting yourself and others at risk unnecessarily during the pandemic is nothing but a mistake. After all, there are plenty of other people who never want to hear you say, “I just want it that way.”