Experts discuss life after Omicron and how to stay healthy as we move forward
Year three of the pandemic started with a sudden spike in COVID‑19, as the Omicron variant spread quickly through adults and kids. Fortunately, cases have decreased from the Omicron surge. You might be wondering: What happens next? Will there be another variant? Will COVID‑19 ever end?
Two experts at Children’s HealthSM discuss what parents can expect moving forward and the best ways to stay physically and emotionally healthy.
See what's next for COVID-19.
When will COVID-19 end?
The reality is that COVID-19 is never fully going away. However, this doesn't mean our lives will continue to be affected in the same ways as when COVID-19 first emerged. Things have changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. We now have more knowledge about the virus, very effective vaccines, increased testing and effective treatments, like antiviral medicines, that can save lives.
That might mean we need yearly COVID-19 booster vaccines, just like annual flu shots. But overall, we might not need to take as many other precautions in the future.
What will the next COVID-19 variant be?
Currently, Omicron and its BA.2 subvariant are the most common strains of COVID-19 in the U.S. Beyond that, it's not clear what the next variant of COVID-19 may be, how severe it will be or how much it will spread. The future of the virus largely depends on what variant comes next. All viruses mutate as they spread, but they can only mutate so much.
How do we mentally move forward after Omicron?
"What is right for your family might look different than other families, and that doesn't mean you're doing it wrong," says Juliana Alba-Suarez, Ph.D., a Pediatric Psychologist at Children's Health and Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern.
Learn tips to help your children.
How can you keep your family safe from COVID-19 moving forward?
Moving forward, you should keep an eye on the level of COVID-19 in your community. When numbers are low, it might be safe to venture out to museums, restaurants, the zoo and more with your kids. According to CDC guidelines, you can choose to mask if you want when numbers are low and depending on your family's risk.
If you ever have any questions on what you should be doing to keep your family safe, ask your physician for advice.