Josh Freed: The latest version of COVID means another cautious Christmas

Welcome to another holiday season when we have to isolate, not gather; another No-el without bars, shows and parties.

Content of the article

It’s going to look like last Christmas.

Advertising

Content of the article

Welcome to another holiday season when we have to isolate, not gather; another No-el without bars, shows and parties.

But on December 31st, you can sit in a restaurant (now) until at least 10pm and shout “Happy New Year!” – Two hours in advance.

Another cautious Christmas is coming. For reduced family gatherings, the host will give you a 20-minute COVID test at home instead of offering an egg drink, which you must take before you can be admitted.

“Oops! Mother’s test was just positive! All retreat six feet and seal it in the bedroom.

Killjoy this Christmas is COVID’s latest virus update: a superspreader variant called Omicron.

Many of us are not even sure how to pronounce it, as common “variants” range from OHmicron to OMicron, OMYcron and Omnicron, as it is everywhere (this is President Biden’s version).

Advertising

Content of the article

The variant has also introduced a number of other new words to increase our growing COV vocabulary by adding to COVID earlier words and phrases such as “social distancing”, “curve smoothing” and “asymptomatic”.

Last week, many of us sound like amateur doctors, randomly using phrases like, “I hear that PCR molecular tests are 99% accurate in detecting mutations in RNA, while antigen tests detect mainly nucleocapsid (N) protein. … Or is it on the contrary? “

Quebec is once again at the forefront of most new cases every day in Canada, which is strange given that we are among the most vaccinated in Canada and probably in North America. Why us?

I suspect this is due to the fact that we are also the best mixers in Canada, who are likely to crowd into parties, clubs and restaurants to share the joy and germs.

Advertising

Content of the article

When our vaccines take us safely through Omicron, rumors of a new variant called Megatron and the Italian variant spreading through Parmesan pasta are already circulating.

It is also worrying that the word Omicron has already been used th letter in the greek alphabet. If many more variations appear, we may need to switch to the Roman numerals COVID XXXXXXVIIII.

Another new wrinkle is that since we started to communicate indoors again in the fall, the cold season is furious. With more than 9,000 COVID cases and more than 90,000 colds a day, it is difficult to know who has what.

I had a cold several weeks ago and the test was negative. But now I have a chronic winter cough and sniffing, so every time I show both, everyone comes back as if I were a suicide bomber.

Advertising

Content of the article

Someone should bring out T-shirts with the lettering on them

“I gave a negative test. It’s just cold.”

As the cold season continues, do we have to put ourselves to the test every time we wake up with a sneeze? If so, we may need six million home tests instead of six million.

The good news is that according to recent British and other studies, Omicron looks like the “Corona lite” virus, which is much less likely to keep you in the hospital. But it is spreading much faster.

In New York, it’s already such a common headline this week, asking if there is anyone in the city who did not do on Omicron.

I know too many Montrealists who have been infected with COVID in the last week, from the women’s poker night to the men’s hockey league. However, everyone was fully vaccinated and no one has had any serious symptoms at all so far.

Advertising

Content of the article

But even if Omicron turns out to be less dangerous than its previous COVID cousins, it is a threat to our hospitals. If COVID-lite affects two million people in Montreal, even a small percentage of hospital stays can be overwhelmed by exhausted health professionals.

The COVID test alone is difficult. Thousands of us have been queuing up at pharmacies to get free self-test kits that run out almost immediately.

The lineups were so long on Tuesday, Jean Coutu posted an online message warning “Your estimated waiting time is over 15 hours.”

Despite the renewed Christmas anxiety, the mood in the city is better than during last year’s Christmas lock. Now that we are mostly double or triple, we feel somewhat safer.

Advertising

Content of the article

Most people keep only a three-foot-long quay on the sidewalks from others, unlike last year’s eight-foot height – and almost no one quarantines their mail.

Unlike last year, many also make travel plans, although it is worth considering the possible downsides.

The people I know were recently in Europe and gave an unexpectedly positive test just before coming home. Both had to cancel their flight and remain in quarantine until the test was negative.

One never showed symptoms, but the test was positive for more than 10 days, while spending $ 1,000 on the tests, plus hotel and airfare. So when you go on a trip, make sure you have 10 extra days and lots of extra money.

The best-case scenario is that Omicron will prove to be mild or harmless to most people, but will eventually spread to replace other more lethal variants of COVID, which apparently helped to stop the flu in Spain.

Advertising

Content of the article

It is probably a wishful thinking, but in our second Christmas time at COVID, some wishes should come true.

Happy Holidays to all. Stay positive, test negative! And if you have a cold, don’t cough.

joshfreed49@gmail.com

All our coronavir news can be found at montrealgazette.com/tag/coronavirus.

Tap here for information on the vaccine passport.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter dedicated to the local COVID-19 coverage area at montrealgazette.com/coronavirus news.

Help support our local press by subscribing to the Montreal Gazette here.

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil society discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before they appear on your site. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email when you receive a reply to your comment, an update to your comment thread, or a comment from someone you follow. For more information and details on customizing your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.

Leave a Comment

x
%d bloggers like this: