Will Omicron impact my holiday plans?

NEWTON — Thanksgiving is over so now all eyes turn toward Christmas and while people are picking up their trees they are also monitoring closely the news about the new COVID-19 variant and how it could affect the holidays.

“I guess we will wait to see what they say about how transmissible it is and what the severity it is and how evasive it is to the vaccines,” said Laura & Steve Allen who were doing some shopping Sunday night. “Maybe you don’t want to travel on an airplane or something like that right now or have a big Christmas party.”

Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci is encouraging more vaccinations to buy time to get answers to all of those questions but does have some early research.

“The mutations would suggest that it would be more transmissible and that it might even evade some of the protection of antibodies and convalescent plasma and perhaps even antibodies that are induced by the vaccine,” said Fauci.

Locally, the majority of hospital beds are now occupied in Massachusetts but doctors say don’t panic just control what you can control.

“It should serve as a wake-up call for us that the pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Michael J. Misialek, Pathologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “Continuing the measures that we’ve taken thus far to get through the pandemic should still be in effect.”

“We are both vaccinated,” said the Allen’s. “We just got our boosters so I feel safe for now.”

Doctors expect the Omicron variant to be here in a matter of time but say we have to fight increasing COVID numbers with vaccinations and wearing masks where it makes sense.

They say the longer we can keep our COVID numbers down the longer they will have to research this variant and hopefully fight off any other variants that could be on the way.

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