Acknowledging COVID Information Fatigue As Variant Omicron Appears

By Dori Luzzo Gilmour

COVID fatigue is a real problem. As with any public health measure that continues for a long time people begin to tire of new information or staying vigilant.

Dr. Amy Person, Public Health Officer for Benton and Franklin counties does understand that it can seem as if COVID has been going on for a long time; “How do we make people understand that everything we are doing is really looking at how can we help your life to be better…. Sometimes that means coming up with different ways to talk about things or focusing on different aspects of it.”

One of the messages that Dr. Person has is that Omicron is coming at a different time then when Delta was announced.  Delta arrived when masks mandates had ended and vaccination rates were lower.

Dr. Person says, “The other mitigations factors that you mentioned…wearing masks, distancing, good ventilation…those are all designed to lesson the impact of the droplets or the aerosols…so that’s going to be effective no matter how the virus mutates.”

It is too soon yet to speculate about Omicron and its transmissibility, but there are reports that it is appearing in several countries now including the Netherlands and in California. In Benton County, 50% of people are fully vaccinated and about 45% of Franklin County.