Will the pandemic affect your summer plans? Infectious disease expert weighs in

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 6:33 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Case counts of COVID-19 are surging and hospitalizations rising as the omicron variant sweeps the country.

Experts think it will likely get past us in mid-February. But after this variant, what’s next?

Infectious disease experts are cautiously optimistic, saying with the omicron wave, we’re seeing the impact of vaccination and a bit of prior immunity. They hope that translates into fewer severe cases of the virus with later variants.

“I think the thing to be optimistic about is the possibility that omicron has delivered more immunity against COVID in general through a larger swath of the population and maybe that makes the impact of COVID less on death rates and hospitalizations and maybe moves us closer to normal life. That’s what we’re all hoping for,” said Dr. Tim Lahey, an infectious disease expert at the UVM Medical Center.

But if you’re making spring or summer plans, you still want to prepare for the possibility that COVID might change those.

“You know part of me is tempted to say don’t make plans. And another part of me sort of said, ‘Hey, live your life. We can’t all live in a box for the rest of our lives.’ It’s probably someplace in between. I think the last couple of years I think has taught us to expect uncertainty but also to figure out how to work around it,” Lahey said.

As far as when we can expect to treat COVID-19 more like the other viruses that we live with day to day, Lahey says that will likely be driven by how many deaths or hospitalizations it is causing.

Watch the video to see more of our Cat Viglienzoni’s interview with Dr. Lahey. You can see the full conversation, where they discuss the accuracy of rapid tests, omicron booster shots and more, this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on “You Can Quote Me.”

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