Should I have exposed myself to Omicron and got COVID over with?


On New Year’s Eve, my husband examined constructive for COVID. We wouldn’t have identified he had it, besides our hosts requested us to take a look at earlier than coming to go to. We canceled our weekend plans, however then had one other dilemma: Should my 6-year-old daughter and I — who each examined detrimental — keep dwelling with my husband and perhaps get COVID, or transfer to a pal’s empty place for 5 days? 

Now, we’re all vaccinated — my husband and I boosted — however my first-grader’s college requires that, in circumstances of in-home publicity, {couples} who reside collectively quarantine aside for 5 days or collectively for 10. For me, that meant 5 days of solo parenting vs. 10 days with my asymptomatic husband.

While most individuals don’t have an choice of separating from household, the query many are asking is: Should I simply get Omicron over with already?

Although there have been greater than 1 million COVID infections recorded on Jan. 3 — 95%, according to the CDC, with the Omicron variant — deaths, ICU charges and hospitalizations are down, particularly among the many vaccinated and boosted. A study from South Africa discovered that sufferers admitted to the hospital throughout Omicron have been 73% much less doubtless to have extreme signs than sufferers admitted throughout the Delta variant. Israel — the place we’re residents — is barely preventing Omicron, providing PCR assessments solely to the aged and immunocompromised, as many officers imagine the unfold will ultimately lead to herd immunity.

Even after being vaccinated and boosted, Amy Klein’s husband (above) still tested positive for COVID.
Even after being vaccinated and boosted, Amy Klein’s husband (above) nonetheless examined constructive for COVID.

And but, with greater than 4,000 children hospitalized with COVID within the US the primary week of January, and 11,000 people hospitalized last week in New York state — the very best complete because the peak of the pandemic within the spring of 2020 – specialists are fearful about long-term COVID, even from delicate diseases.

“Even mild cases can lead to long-term symptoms,” says Dr. Morgan McSweeney, a Ph.D. scientist skilled in immunology and pharmaceutical sciences who works in biotech, and has 1.3 million followers on TikTok @DrNoc. “I would not intentionally try to get it,” he stated, whereas noting there are individuals who have been attending “COVID parties” to get Omicron.

There’s the bride in Australia who tried to get COVID earlier than her marriage ceremony, the Canadians who ended up in the hospital after attending a COVID get together, and a 30-year-old Texan who died after going to one. 

“You might not know how it will turn out for you,” Dr. McSweeney stated.

Aside from the private danger, there’s a public well being burden.

A bride in Australia said she tried to catch COVID before her wedding so it wouldn't ruin her big day.
A bride in Australia stated she tried to catch COVID earlier than her marriage ceremony so it wouldn’t destroy her massive day.

“Societally, it’s placing a pretty severe strain on healthcare staffing right now and has a negative impact on access to health care for everyone else,” he added. As for me, he stated, “I think it’s worth it to take reasonable precautions and not throw it up to fate, saying, everyone’s going to get it anyway, might as well get it now.” 

But many individuals I know are doing the precise reverse.

“As soon as I found out we had it, I licked all my kids,” a vaccinated pal joked about her youngsters, who all weathered every week of fevers and fatigue and now discover themselves on the mend.

“If this had been original COVID, we would have gone and isolated somewhere else,” one other pal informed me. Her 3-year-old examined constructive on New Year’s Day. But “because of all the data on Omicron,” she determined to keep dwelling along with her totally vaccinated husband and two kids, the opposite aged 6.

Within the subsequent 4 days, your entire household had it, the mother and father with delicate complications and fatigue, the children completely high quality (the youngest’s fever went away that first day). 

In Canada, two people reportedly attended a COVID party and ended up in the hospital.
In Canada, two individuals reportedly attended a COVID get together and ended up within the hospital.

Now, with the children again at school and the mother and father again at work, she informed me, “I feel relieved.”

It’s not like I intentionally needed to get contaminated — or get our daughter contaminated. But we had already been with my husband whereas he was sick.

I referred to as our pediatrician, who, seems, had simply recovered from COVID, and stated in truth, it was a matter of my psychological well being. After greater than every week of parenting over the winter break, I actually, actually wanted some respite. Maybe 10 days at dwelling with my contaminated husband was higher than six days alone with out him.

“Look, I’m not going to tell you to stay if you have someplace else to go,” my pediatrician informed me. “That being said, if it’s a matter of mental health, since you’re all vaccinated, she will probably be fine if you have to stay.”

Quarantining at a friend's place, Klein's daughter went to school over Zoom.
Quarantining at a pal’s place, Klein’s daughter went to college over Zoom.

I was nonetheless not sure. But going by anecdotal circumstances, I famous that of the 4 individuals who caught it with my greatest pal in Los Angeles lately, one was completely high quality, one other misplaced his sense of scent and style, a 3rd was high-risk, and one other developed mind fog and couldn’t end a sentence. How would my daughter and I fare? 

And so, I decamped to a pal’s place for nearly every week and did Zoom college. It gave me PTSD prefer it was March 2020, and I had to do loads of deep yogic respiration to strive not to lose it.

Now we’re again dwelling, and we don’t have Omicron. Not but, anyway. But if I’m confronted with this identical dilemma sooner or later, I don’t know what I would do.

Amy Klein is a writer dwelling in NYC. Follow her on Twitter @AmydKlein and on Instagram.

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