Recently, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said there are “clear steps that every Pennsylvanian should be taking to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Unfortunately, she simply repeated the same old mantra of vaccinations, boosters, masks and testing. However, with the current Omicron-variant surge, these efforts are not very effective. Vaccination and booster effectiveness are dramatically reduced with this variant.

Moreover, Omicron spreads so quickly that initial vaccination at this late stage will have little effect on its spread. Cloth mask effectiveness (which most of us use) lacks real-world data support against the spread of COVID in general and even less so with this variant.

And, tests kits are currently so scarce that it really isn’t an option unless you have severe enough symptoms to warrant a run to a medical facility. Fortunately, this variant is significantly less pathogenic (i.e. it has less severe symptoms) than the previous variants. 

Moreover, this variant appears to replace the much more pathogenic Delta variant by providing natural immunity against Delta as evidenced both by in-lab research and real-world data (South Africa, United Kingdom).

Unfortunately, our government health leaders have been pontificating throughout this COVID era and have undermined any credibility that they once had. 

Alas, the only clear step to protect yourself and your loved ones from Omicron is to isolate for the next three or four weeks. 

At least, Klinepeter realizes such an approach for public policy is unreasonable.

John Thompson


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