What is the Omicron variant
Omicron was first detected in COVID patients in South Africa and Botswana. Omicron Covid is a mutant of SARS-CoV-2. This virus has numerous mutations. Omicron has been found to be radically different from the original COVID virus that was found in Wuhan, China in 2019.
How dangerous is it?
Omicron is capable of spreading easily. It is much more infectious than the earlier Delta variant.This can cause an increase in the total number of COVID patients in any country. An increase in the number of patients can put a burden on the country’s health system.
It has been labelled as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by WHO. Omicron can infect even vaccinated people. Omicron is very different from the other variants of COVID.
Omicron contains close to 50 mutations to the spike protein. The spike protein is that part of coronavirus that binds to cells. The lack of complete information on Omicron makes it dangerous.
Omicron is also worrying because antibodies from the previously administered vaccine doses are reducing in vaccinated people. There is a demand for booster shots and much debate over the combination of booster shots. There is research going on about the treatment protocol to fight Omicron.
Scientists are still gathering information about Omicron. Omicron affects younger people. It causes milder COVID. But like all other COVID variants it is capable of causing severe illness and death. This is more true for people who have comorbidities.
The genetic changes in Omicron affects its spread. It has also been detected in people who have not travelled anywhere. These changes also affect the people infected by the virus very differently.
The standard safety measures against COVID like handwash, social distancing, vaccination and wearing a mask are fairly effective against Omicron.
Will companies stop the return-to-office
Many companies have pushed back their plans to call employees to office due to the emergence of the omicron variant. Governments are imposing some restrictions on gatherings. Companies are preferring to wait and watch till more information is gathered about Omicron. Some companies have announced an indefinite delay in return to office plans.
Many companies have strengthened their protocols with regard to COVID. Companies are giving more importance to the health and safety of their employees in the changed scenario. Some companies are allowing only fully vaccinated employees to return to office.
If the Omicron strain spreads rapidly then employees will resist returning to office.
Will WFH continue
In the present scenario it looks like WFH will continue for some more time. Some companies are following the hybrid model where some people work from home while some attend offices.
Immunity building has become very important for people. Physical wellbeing is being prioritised over career well being. People are going all out for their wellness and companies are fully supporting their employees in the wellness quest.
The higher productivity rate of remote workers is another incentive for companies to continue the WFH model. In addition it also reduces the employees stress about travelling into a COVID hotspot and walking crowded streets.
Some employees have even threatened to quit their jobs if they are forced to return to offices. Stopping the spread is the only sure shot method to prevent this virus from turning into a national crisis.
Such times are unprecedented, although now it does seem like a recap of last year. But this is the right time to evaluate your priorities and check for your Career Wellbeing. Get a free assessment from Joygraphy and evaluate your choices based on your Joygraph. In times where we are experiencing something new, try out something new.