Opinion: My family’s Omicron question: What do we do now?
But we also did something different. Before we finished breakfast, we broke the cotton swab, circled the inside of each nostril at least five times, then placed the swab in the solution and applied it to the test strip. In Omaha, my sister and her family did the same thing. Within fifteen minutes, rapid tests for Covid-19 antigen came back negative and – with at least a little more confidence – we were on our way.
I’m fighting my anxiety about an Omicron winter, which I know won’t help, by shifting my energy from fighting for social-level solutions to just trying to make it happen. take steps to protect those close to me without abandoning society. I hate it, but it’s the best I can do in the short term. And I don’t want to do it alone. Even within this narrow sphere of activity, government can play a large role.
Furthermore, if we are going to focus on vaccines, then we need a better policy of providing paid time off for all workers who suffer side effects from vaccines, or even more so, when they get sick from Covid-19. There are some paid leave policies in the Covid-19 relief bills, but they were never strong enough, are about to expire, and demand has not changed.
The long battle against the pandemic is likely to be fraught with problems. We must reach endemicity to protect those most at risk. We must find a way not to let the bad guys disrupt the basic functioning of society.
Meanwhile, Hanukkah is here, Christmas is coming, and my multi-faith family yearns for community. With quick tests, good masks, smart communication, we can overcome this fear of Omicron without repeating the isolation of last winter. But there is still a long road ahead until we become perfect once again.