Variants are inevitable in viral infections and the appearance of them has been predicted from the start of the pandemic. Information on Omicron is relatively sparse compared to what we know about previous variants, but the early signs do show that it is probably much more transmissible than the most recent named one, that being Delta.

This is a rapidly changing landscape. However, for now the sensible thing to do is to proceed with caution.

  • Try to limit close contacts, especially in poorly ventilated rooms.
  • Sanitise/Wash your hands. 
  • Avoid hugging and handshakes.
  • Be especially careful around people with weakened immune systems (the older age groups, diabetics, people on immunosuppressive drugs, those receiving treatment for cancer etc).
  • Wear a mask where and when requested.

And if you don’t feel comfortable with the amount of people around you, just leave. There’s no need to even make an excuse.  Just leave and stay safe.  

But this phase too will pass, and we have given ourselves the best chance we can by being vaccinated and maintaining the simple rules that have served us quite well since March 2020. And the future months may provide more hope than we can foresee at the moment.

So I encourage you all to stay the course, get your booster, protect each other by taking simple steps, and above all, have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Hopefully the next time I am writing, we will be in a much brighter situation.

David Bouchier-Hayes, Galwegians COVID Officer