Omicron: What Now?

Omicron is making its way around the world, and this is hard. Hard for everyone who has been looking forward to engaging with life again, everyone who is tired, and everyone who just wishes this was over. I hear you, I see you. It is difficult to think about this, but we must.

We won’t get back to how thing were. It’s been clear that things will be different for some time now, and #Omicron is a congregate examples of this. Although the tide of the pandemic may have been waning, there is a new influence, and the tide may rise again. We need to prepare. 

But there is much uncertainty, including an understanding of the biology of the Omicron variant. But this underlines the importance of taking a precautionary approach., with vaccines, public health measures and new meds. 

At the moment, I see lots of anger and denial: but mostly anger: “You’re threatening to take away my imagined future life again.”

In play with still to come: Bargaining: “Okay, if we close borders and understand the variant, everything will be better, right?”

There’s sadness: “I don’t know when this will all end.”

And, finally, there’s acceptance: “Omicron is happening; We have to figure out how to proceed.”

Each new encounter with the pandemic produces different measures that we need to adapt to. This will include #Omicron too. The grief we feel persists because the counter-factual remains the same: if we don’t take action, we will still have grief, but most likely on a greater scale. Striking the balance between this and the accumulated secondary impacts of almost 2-years of public health measures will be tough. 

Add to this, a resuming experience of ambiguous loss — things that have not yet taken shape in our lives but involves lost dreams, imagined futures, the feeling of stable safety that so many of us used to have in our lives, as well as the sense of living in a stable world, rather than this constantly shifting parallel universe we can sometimes feel like we have been teleported to, where we can feel safe one minute, and be thrown into despair the next.

If you want to do one thing to help, that can also make you feel better, get vaccinated if you haven’t already, and get a booster if you are due.

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