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You should plan for the next major COVID-19 variant now, expert says

Want to fight off the new COVID-19 variant? You may want to start preparing

SHARE You should plan for the next major COVID-19 variant now, expert says
An illustration of the novel coronavirus.

Want to fight off the new COVID-19 variant? You may want to start preparing now, say experts.

Illustration by Michelle Budge, Deseret News

There are signs that the omicron variant wave of the novel coronavirus is dropping off, which could be a sign that a return to normal isn’t too far away.

Yes, but: The novel coronavirus “is still mutating, and there is no guarantee that future variants will be mild. There is a high chance that more surges are in our future, particularly for unvaccinated people,” Dr. Megan Ranney, professor of emergency medicine and academic dean of public health at Brown University, recently wrote for NBC News.

Why it matters: The coronavirus could mutate again, which would once again delay a return to normal. That’s why it might be better to prepare now for any future variants.

  • Ranney said people should “practice public health at its best.”
  • “Yes, we need people to be vaccinated, period, and the Biden administration has done an incredible jobof saving lives by making this first step happen. But more is needed. We also need investments in better data systems, now, to signal when a surge is on its way and to provide clear metrics of when to increase protections (like masks) — and clear lines about when these protections can be relaxed.”


Potential new variants: The World Health Organization recently said that it’s too soon to declare victory against COVID-19 as it continues to monitor the subvariants of the omicron variant, as I reported for the Deseret News.