Progress with COVID and here comes Omicron
As of today, the WHO has issued a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.
Just as we have been warned, the world is far from finished with the COVID virus and the longer we go without herd immunity (which requires a high degree of vaccination world-wide) the more possibilities exist for mutations and even more deadly strains to develop. We have seen this with Delta and are now seeing the next phase of this phenomenon on the planet as the variant which was first discovered in South Africa has already impacted that country with thousands of cases per day.
It has also already traveled to other countries and we are now seeing various countries use different strategies: Israel and Japan have completely shut their borders and some 44 other countries (as of this writing) have issued “do not travel” warnings to African countries and have shut borders to several of the countries in Southern Africa, with more closures expected.
Globally, there have been 260.9 million cases and 5.1 million deaths as of now due to COVID. In the US, we have seen 48 million confirmed COVID cases with 776,000 deaths reported.
Please Get Your Shot. They are readily available. We currently have 59% of Americans who are fully vaccinated.
Wear a mask. They are helpful to all. Masks can reduce transmission by 30% or more.
Stay socially distanced. The Delta variant poses a different and more serious threat and we are far from over this global pandemic. Now, with the advent of OMICRON we are again embarking on a journey of discovery which will no doubt, lead to additional deaths worldwide.
In the US, our children are now eligible and we have 28 million who fall in the age group from 5 to 11 years of age. COVID was the 8th highest killer of children last year. We have the opportunity now to protect them. We urge parents to take swift action and get children vaccinated.
At DNA Consulting, we believe it is time for continued bold action on the part of CEOs and leaders of businesses and all organizations and are pleased that President Biden has taken a strong stance.
“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this,” said Biden. “What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So please, do the right thing.”
The vaccine requirement for large employers will cover about 80 million workers. Biden’s executive order also requires the vaccination of all workers in healthcare settings that bill Medicaid or Medicare. That measure covers roughly 50,000 providers and 17 million healthcare workers.
“In total, the vaccine requirements in my plan will affect about 100 million Americans, two thirds of all workers,” said Biden.
The government will also strengthen the mandate on its own employees. Until now, these have had the options of vaccination or weekly testing. The weekly testing option will now be removed, a measure the Biden administration is urging state governments to follow.
Biden will also order the Transportation Security Administration to increase fines on travelers who do not wear masks in airports or on buses and trains. The minimum penalty for a first offence will double, to $500.
If we ever needed a message that we are all in this together, we have it from the progression of this virus. As we now see with omicron, national boundaries do not matter to a virus. And the longer we go with it, the smarter the virus becomes and the more it can mutate and move around our globe.
This condition continues to be such a tragic health situation. We extend our deepest sympathies to people who have lost loved ones, to patients, and health care professionals, and other first responders everywhere. We also add teachers—those at schools and in a virtual setting, parents who are working so hard to take good care of their children and have taken on the role of teacher/teacher aide along with their other jobs—to our list of people receiving special thanks.
We extend our tremendous gratitude to those--especially those on the front lines--for their service, courage, and commitment to helping others. Gratitude means the quality of being thankful--the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. We hold all of these fellow citizens in our hearts.
We believe it is vital for all of us to continue to sacrifice individual freedoms right now for the common good. With proper action, we can crush this virus! But it depends on all of us.
OUR MESSAGE FOR DECEMBER IS… DO YOUR PART… THINK OF OTHERS & PLEASE GET VACCINATED!
Here are a few global words with the same meaning: The Act of Being RESPONSIBLE.