A new covid variant has caught the attention of analysts and it could be much worse than the last two major waves we’ve faced.
The last variant may have been milder and some have let their guard down. Simply got tired of it.
In fact, misleading news of rollbacks of various mandates could leave many even more exposed to this new version of the virus. The last thing most want is for more restrictions and lockdowns to come streaming back in full force.
Omicron had mutated and has become far more transmissible than previous strains. This caused huge spikes in COVID cases across the US, and all over the world, along with many more deaths.
While many tried to downplay the health impacts and severity of Omicron compared to strains like Delta, thousands of people have still been dying from it.
In fact, according to CDC tracking data, in early February 2022, around 3,000 people per day were dying from COVID. That’s even more than during the initial lockdowns and stay-at-home orders of 2020.
New lab studies have been evaluating the latest strain of COVID, and it could be even worse than Omicron.
Some have dubbed this as Ba.2, a subvariant of Omicron. Others believe the differences justify their own classification.
What has been particularly challenging with this variant is that it has been difficult to identify and specifically pick it out from others, which is why experts have called it “stealth omicron.”
February 2022, it had already been discovered in 47 US states and 74 countries around the world.
The scary part of Omicron was that it was so much more contagious than previous strains of COVID.
Scientists have now found that BA.2 is 30% to 50% more contagious than Omicron. That makes it the most contagious and transmissible so far.
Ba.2 causes more severe health impacts, like Delta and other former strains. Combined with its increased capability to infect many more people.
Compounded even further by BA.2’s ability to break through previous prevention measures. Vaccine shots and being more resistant to some treatments that have been used.
Without going into full lockdown again, how can we protect ourselves, our families, and businesses from this dangerous new strain?
Another booster shot could restore immunity to 74%. Counting all of the initial and booster shots.
A new study from the CDC shows that N95 masks provide 83% lower odds of infection and transmission of the virus. That’s even better than multiple vaccine shots.
It is important to note that regular cloth masks and surgical masks provide much less protection.
It is important and the right to be able to choose. Wear a mask, or stay home more than they used to.
With that freedom comes the freedom to choose to be safe. Protect your health, your community, your family, and keep businesses open.
There has also been a lot of confusion over various mandates and restrictions. This includes travel and access with proof of full vaccinations, as well as mask mandates.
The most restrictive states have been in the headlines for rolling back some of their mask mandates. This includes CA, NY, IL, and more recently NM and WA. However, this does not apply to every situation.
You would still want a mask on you when entering various facilities and businesses, as well as when using more public means of transportation in between them.
Given this new Ba.2 variant, there is also no telling when these mandates will come roaring back into effect.
Virologist Deborah Fuller of the University of Washington School of Medicine says, “it’s not quite time for communities to lift mask mandates…Before this thing came out, we were about 10 feet away from the finish line…Taking off the masks now is not a good idea. It’s just going to extend it.”
Unfortunately, it has become harder to find reliable N95 respirator masks.
It is also more important now, more than ever, to watch out for fakes and counterfeit mask scams.
Be sure that you are only buying authentic, NIOSH-approved N95s. Get them directly from CDC-approved suppliers like Bielcor.com to ensure your health is protected.
Appears to be more infectious and severe than what we’ve experienced, so far.
Be sure you and those you care about stay safe with the best protection possible and aren’t caught off guard without a supply of N95 masks.