Here comes another Corona wave. Whether you’ve chosen to bury your head in the sand or pay diligent attention to the news, chances are you’ve heard of the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron. In fact, we are dealing with two newer variants, Delta and Omicron. Does it feel like COVID-19 will always be a part of our lives? Well, according to expert research, that’s probably true. Though the virus is likely to continue mutating and emerging as new variants, it’s probably going to be around for a long time. Even with the recent vaccination successes, we aren’t fully protected. The truth is we are going to be dealing with Corona for a while longer, and the latest Omicron version is proof of that. It’s up to each of us to protect ourselves as best as we’re able as we navigate life with Omicron and beyond.
What do we Know About Omicron?
So what’s the deal with this latest variant? Unfortunately, it’s causing a spike in fearful emotions in many people. That’s because, for the past year, many individuals have believed that vaccines and other measures like social distancing would put COVID-19 in our past. However, as new variants emerge, it becomes apparent that we are nowhere near putting Corona behind us. In fact, new variants are harder to combat. This makes people nervous. Will schools and social programs close again? Will we need to quarantine again? Can we celebrate the holiday season “like before” or “like normal”? When we are unsure of the precise COVID-19 situation, as we are with Omicron, then experts are unable to clear any of that up for certain.
However, we do know a few things about Omicron. According to the CDC, Omicron was first reported to the World Health Organization on November 24, 2021. As of this writing, its presence has been detected in several countries and states. Although this variant spreads more easily, it seems to have milder effects. Though anecdotal reports suggest this variant affects people more like a cold, that’s purely speculation until more data is available. Similarly, medical leaders don’t really know how well vaccines protect against Omicron, how easily it spreads, or the severity of the illness it causes. That being said, experts do agree that so far, it appears Omicron spreads more easily than other versions of COVID-19. There’s a lot of unknown about Omicron, and we also know that the Delta variant continues to be the main strain of concern in the United States.
How Can We Protect Ourselves and Our Loved Ones from Omicron?
Medical experts continue to believe that vaccines provide our best protection against COVID-19 - and any variants that may develop. Vaccines will slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. However, some people cannot take the vaccine, and vaccine hesitancy means we are in danger of not reaching levels that can offer true protection.
Thankfully, there are other measures of caution available. Social distancing is your best bet. Remaining 6 feet apart is a good practice for people in congested areas. For example, many schools are still spacing student desks a few feet apart. Masks can be helpful and many people are choosing to continue with mask-wearing, even if they are vaccinated. The CDC actually recommends mask-wearing in public regardless of vaccination status. However, masks carry their own concerns. Many people, especially those who are younger, do not wear masks correctly. Additionally, failing to properly clean and care for your mask can actually lead to breathing in more germs over time.
Tests are also more available than ever before. They can help slow the spread because if someone is exhibiting symptoms, they can more quickly be tested in order to quarantine. There are new tests that can tell you if you’re currently infected with COVID-19, but they won’t tell you what variant (Omicron, Delta, etc). Self-tests are a reality now, and many people use those to keep populations around them safe. It’s believed that self-tests are helping schools and offices to stay open because people can know quickly when they should avoid attending.
All that being said, it’s important to remember the earlier point of this post: COVID-19 is not going away, and Omicron is proof of that. These measures are helpful - but they will not do away with the virus. The truth is that COVID-19 is an airborne illness and could be anywhere around us.
Clean Air is Your Best Bet Against COVID-19
It makes sense that purifying your air will help to prevent an airborne illness. In fact, according to the EPA, “When used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a home or confined space.”
Speaking plainly, air purifiers can remove viruses from the air. An air purifier doesn’t know the difference between COVID-19 variants - whether Omicron, Delta, or some other version in the future. In fact, Medify has put our air purifiers through extensive third-party testing just to be able to offer this peace of mind. The results showed that anyone who has concerns about COVID-19 would be better off having a Medify air purifier in their home. For example:
MA-40 and MA-50 purifiers were tested by ARE Labs and removed 99.99% of the particles related to COVID-19 in less than 30 minutes at their highest setting.
The MA-112 purifier was tested by CUBRC Lab and removed 99.95% of the particles related to COVID-19 in 5 minutes at the highest setting with the ionizer on.
Furthermore, all of our systems use True HEPA H13 filters. Some units also come with an even higher grade, True HEPA H14. True HEPA H13 removes 99.9% of particles down to 0.1 microns in size. The coronavirus particle is 0.125 microns in size. We know that Omicron particles are no smaller than those of original variants, so a high-quality air purifier offers strong protection against Omicron as well as other viruses.
The bottom line is that the Omicron variant proves that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon. Keep taking your usual precautions, but add an air purifier to your home, office, or classroom for added protection and peace of mind. If you need help choosing the right air purifier system, just reach out - we’re here to help! We’re all in this together.