Dr. Laura Hawryluck says she felt something more was coming.
In November 2021, the Toronto-based critical care doctor had just experienced the toll COVID-19’s Delta variant could have on the human body. However, something told her that health-care workers weren’t done with the pandemic yet.
“By the time Omicron attained that level of general consciousness, it had seemed that with the waves of previous variants that we had seen that we were due for another one,” she told Global News.
“The most important thought that went through my mind … was, ‘I hope it’s not going to be as bad as the Delta wave that we had just lived through.’ The concern of having to go through that again and see so many people struggle to breathe, so many people not survive – the thought of that was just heartbreaking.”
One year ago on Nov. 24, a group of scientists in South Africa alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to a concerning new COVID-19 variant that featured a large number of mutations. Two days later, on Nov. 26, 2021, the WHO declared it a variant of concern, and name it Omicron.
Omicron “altered the course of the pandemic” by infecting millions of Canadians, resulting in the further strain of the health-care system, said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam in her 2022 review of the pandemic.
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Omicron has remained the dominant COVID-19 strain ever since its emergence one year ago, so what does that mean for the future of the COVID-19 pandemic?
“From an evolutionary standpoint, no other variant has yet to evolve to outcompete Omicron. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and that’s why many of us watching this are always walking on eggshells because the virus continues to circulate in someone’s lungs somewhere on the planet,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with the…