According to American super billionaire Bill Gates, the Omicron variant may mean the worst part of the pandemic, but he thinks that by taking the right steps – vaccination, mask-wearing, social distancing, the pandemic could be over in 2022.
Bill Gates. | Department for International Development/Russell Watkins
In a series of tweets he posted a few days ago on Twitter, the founder of Microsoft and philanthropist sent out a message of hope despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant around the world:
“Just when it seemed like life would return to normal, we could be entering the worst part of the pandemic. Omicron will hit home for all of us. Close friends of mine now have it, and I’ve canceled most of my holiday plans.
“Omicron is spreading faster than any virus in history. It will soon be in every country in the world.
“The big unknown is how sick omicron makes you. We need to take it seriously until we know more about it. Even if it’s only half as severe as delta, it will be the worst surge we have seen so far because it’s so infectious.
“In the meantime, we all have to look out for each other, especially the most vulnerable, whether they live down the street or in another country. That means wearing masks, avoiding big indoor gatherings, and getting vaccinated. Getting a booster gives the best protection.
“There will be more breakthrough cases in people who are vaccinated, which sounds concerning but is purely a factor of how many people are vaccinated and how fast this variant is spreading. Vaccines are designed to prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying and are doing that well.
“If there’s good news here, it’s that omicron moves so quickly that once it becomes dominant in a country, the wave there should last less than 3 months. Those few months could be bad, but I still believe if we take the right steps, the pandemic can be over in 2022.
“I know it’s frustrating to go into another holiday season with COVID looming over us. But it won’t be like this forever. Someday the pandemic will end, and the better we look after each other, the sooner that time will come.”
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▫ PMP News reporting.
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- Text: This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 26 December 2021.
- Cover: Flickr/Department for International Development/Russell Watkins. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)