OPINION: Stage 2

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Yes, we’re back under tighter restrictions than what we enjoyed leading up to Christmas, but can you blame the provincial government?

We all have to collectively try to persevere for another three weeks as provincial health experts seek to slow down the explosion of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The bad: this variant is highly contagious and appears to largely ignore vaccines as a defence against contracting it.

The good: the variant is not as vicious as its predecessors. More people are catching this version of COVID-19, but the percentage of people getting dangerously ill from it and requiring hospitalization as a result, seems much lower.

The good: being fully vaccinated and boosted helps to greatly reduce the severity of COVID-19

The problem: so many people are catching omicron that even with greatly reduced chances of severity, the overall huge numbers are threatening to overwhelm our health-care system.

Public health officials at local, provincial and national levels have long stated the worry is the pressures placed on our hospitals. That, to them, is the danger indicator.

If intensive care units are overloaded and there aren’t enough ventilators for the number of patients in need, doctors are going to have to start to “play God” in determining who gets access to a ventilator and lives.

If you get this version of COVID, chances are you’ll just have to stay home for a bit, isolate and move on. But they key is to isolate. Ignoring symptoms and not isolating is what is causing a great deal of the strife we are seeing these days.

It’s past time to know the symptoms.

Fever, cough, fatigue and loss of sense of taste or smell are key indicators you might have contracted the virus.

Less common symptoms can include sore throat, headache, and aches and pains.

Some of those symptoms are also tied to the flu or the common cold, but at this stage of COVID-19 – well, any stage, really – it is better to be safe than sorry.

The province is not in lockdown at this point, so let’s all try to do our part to prevent that from happening. Social distance, mask up, wash your hands repeatedly and follow the guidelines.

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