Omicron: News or nothing new?

The COVID-19 pandemic is once again at the forefront of public discourse with the emergence of the Omicron variant. On Tuesday morning, several trends emerged in relation to the new variant after various public figures put out statements.

Discussions about Omicron do not neatly fit into a right-left comparison. Below, we have compiled a summary of the conversation happening on social media.

The Question: What should we do now?

How we should respond to the new variant is at the center of the social media conversation. But people with different backgrounds, worldviews, and values, will answer the question differently depending on what’s most important to them.

“Even if vaccines won’t be as effective against Omicron, masks help against all variants.” See this tweet from Arun Bothra, or this tweet from Dr Julia Grace Patterson.

“The best strategy to fight this virus has, and continues to be, multiple layers of protection.” See this tweet from Deepti Gurdasani

“There is no need to implement travel bans if we’re vigilant about testing, masking, and vaccinations.” See this tweet from Faheem Younus, MD.

“There is no need to panic. The Omicron variant isn’t making people severely ill.” See this tweet from Dr. Eli David

“Mass vaccination will hurt rather than help because it increases the virus’ evolutionary capability.” See this tweet from Geert Vanden Bossche


Few, if any, people are unconcerned with the effects of the pandemic. What people disagree about is what managing the impact of the pandemic should look like. 

Some advocate for clear regulations to ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals. To others, government regulations do more harm than good — it should be up to each individual to make the decisions they see as best to protect themselves and their families. 

Based on our unique experiences and worldview, we reach different conclusions about what matters most. But if we pause for just a moment and try to see each other as human beings, not just the mouthpiece of an opposing opinion, it’s a lot easier to understand the other side and solve our shared problems peacefully.

This is easier said than done, but certainly worth the effort.

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