Omicron: How to protect yourself and others

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The Omicron variant spreads much faster than any variants developed by SARS-Cov-2. Because of its high rate of transmission and resistance to current inoculated vaccines, many people including the World Health Organization and health workers are concerned. And because Omicron can be 70 times faster than Delta variant before reaching our body airways, lots of countries with low vaccination rates are at high risks.

Even though several vaccine manufacturers are now working to develop vaccines that will specifically target Omicron, people should still consider the best tangible defenses against it.

To help you, here are some things that will help you protect yourself and others from Omicron.

  • Use publicly-advised masks. Medical grade masks such as surgical, N95, KN95, or Kf94 are accepted by many health officials. These masks are proven to prevent you from inhaling small droplets and aerosol particles. You can also place a cloth mask on top of any medical-grade mask for added protection. Properly fitted masks reduce the time of the pandemic.
  • Maintain a safe distance of 1 meter from others. When shopping for necessities or an emergency drive to the hospital, always practice social distancing. If possible, choose open and well-ventilated spaces. But if you’re in an indoor space, open a window to allow air circulation.
  • Stay at home if you’re not feeling well. Unless you are unwell and seek the help of medical attention, go to a hospital. But if you’re symptomatic yet can manage to take care of yourself, consider isolation and limit close contact with any person. Remember that people with mild symptoms who have a healthy lifestyle are advised to rest in their own homes. This is a much better choice that will offer speedier recovery since recuperating at home is easier.

If traveling is needed, get tested. You can take quick advantage of this by doing easy-at-home kits that are available in many pharmacies.

  • Observe personal hygiene. Cleaning your hands often with soap, water, or alcohol can protect you and other people from any virus or infection. You see, germs can rapidly spread from others on every surface they touch. So if you’re from outside and you touched your nose, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands, you are likely to get respiratory and diarrheal infections. Or worse, the Omicron variant. 
  • Get vaccinated. This may be the most important thing to guard yourself and other people from Omicron. Especially for older people or those who have underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Aside from getting avoiding omicron, getting vaccinated can prevent serious symptoms or death. 

Smokers are also encouraged to get COVID-19 vaccines since tobacco is a popular risk factor for many respiratory infections. In fact, a review of studies by WHO shows that smokers are more likely to develop the disease than those non-smokers.

Layering your defenses against omicron will reduce the risk exposure of your household. Mainly now that Omicron surge is of high transmission. Encourage everyone ages 5 and older to get vaccinated. You can follow local guidance for information.