Omicron Variant Puts Delay on a Possible Endemic

Drivers line up at the testing center located in the corner of Airline and SPID. The YesNoCovid site is one of the many free COVID-19 testing sites open Monday through Sunday during 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with no appointment needed.

Kenya Zarate

Drivers line up at the testing center located in the corner of Airline and SPID. The YesNoCovid site is one of the many free COVID-19 testing sites open Monday through Sunday during 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with no appointment needed.

“It will get close, but it will never be the same.” That’s freshman business major Joshua Ferguson’s take on whether or not things will ever get back to the normal we all once knew before COVID-19. 

As Omicron cases continue to spike, even surpassing numbers during the first wave of COVID and the rise of the Delta variant, this new variant has led many to question whether or not we will be able to reach an “endemic”.

According to the CDC, the term endemic is defined as, “the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.”

With the fear of another lockdown, many have begun to wonder why there are so many cases, even though there are many people getting their vaccinations and booster shots. Associate Professor of Biology, and member of the City of Corpus Christi’s Coronavirus task force, Dr. Chris Bird attributes this recent spike to this new variant’s ability to get past people’s immune systems.

“Omicron evolved to partially evade our immune systems,” Bird said, “Despite the fact that a large proportion of our population has been vaccinated, and even larger has been either vaccinated or recovered from COVID, it can still infect people.”

Another factor that has caused these spikes in cases is that people are starting to let their guards down as mentioned by Ferguson. 

“It’s because people are getting kind of laxed on hanging out with other people,” Ferguson said, “Especially with everybody getting vaccinated thinking they’re alright and hanging out like normal again even though it’s a little bit too soon.”

Ferguson said, in his opinion, that although Omicron might not be as severe as regular COVID or Delta, it is still highly contagious and believes it is too soon to go back to the way things were and says that everyone should still take precautionary measures. 

With many hoping for an endemic to happen soon, Ferguson feels that moment could come soon, but won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic started.

“It won’t get back to exactly back to normal, but we’ll get back to as normal as we can,” Ferguson said, “It will get close, but it will never be the same.”

Ferguson also added that he noticed how people are taking health and safety seriously, due to either getting COVID or from knowing someone who’s had it and feels that’s what could help us get us to that elusive sense of normalcy.