New COVID variant discovered is dubbed “Omicron Variant”


Kazuya Yasui

The pandemic has impacted the nation–and the world–in every way imaginable.

Kazuya Yasui, Staff Writer

For the past 21 months, the U.S. has been fighting a long, deadly war against COVID, and a new variant has emerged in South Africa. This new variant, named “Omicron,” appears to be more infectious than the previous “Delta” variant. 

“It’s definitely scary to hear about the new variant especially because there are still a lot of people against mask mandates and the vaccine,” said David Fortes (‘25).

A concern about the new Omicron variant is that it might put the country into another lockdown, which could affect the economy. At the peak of the previous lockdown,  49.8 million people were unemployed, and the US lost an approximate 16 trillion dollars overall. However, another lockdown seems unlikely. 

“The Bay Area has a 70-80 percent vaccination rate. Even if  [Omicron] spreads it will not hospitalize everybody. A lockdown would be far worse than what the Omicron variant could do,” said Amador US History teacher Thomas Dalldorf.

Another controversial topic surrounding the omicron variant is its name. Every mutation has used the Greek alphabets in order but this time, the World Health Organization has skipped two letters, “Nu” and “Xi.” In a statement, the WHO said that they skipped the two letters because they wanted to reduce racism towards Asians. 

“Personally, I’m fine if they use those two letters, I don’t find it offensive. However I understand how some other people would find it racist,” said Rachel Zhou (‘24)

Time will tell to see how the US will react to this new threat, and if it can continue the effort of stopping the spread of COVID.