San Diego County

Many San Diegans Not Willing to Change Habits Amid Emergence of Omicron Variant

An Axios-Ipsos national poll shows that many people won't change their behaviors because of the omicron variant

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According to polling, 23% of people plan on canceling Holiday plans.

“As far as me and ours I think that we are comfortable getting together. I think we are looking forward to getting together for the holidays whether that’s Thanksgiving that just passed or the upcoming New Year’s we are looking forward to being together as a family. Life is short, you only have one,” San Diegan, EJ Perkins said.

Some San Diegans said that they plan on having smaller gatherings but it’s not because of the omicron variant rather what they’ve been doing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just get together with close family no big bashes, we used to have big bashes but we haven’t done that since COVID started. Now, just more immediate family,” San Diegan Dan Dolphand said.

Some Public Health Specialists caution that COVID-19 cases are beginning to spike again.

“I think there's a lot of COVID fatigue and people have been looking forward to this opportunity to get together with family and friends. Things were starting to look good in the fall in terms of more people becoming vaccinated and the number of cases coming down, but they're creeping back up again,” UCSD Public Health Professor Richard Garfein said.

Polling shows that many are not in favor of ending some habits like indoor dining with only 23% of people polled saying they are in favor of that.

“Indoor dining, I don’t necessarily have a problem with it, I do typically put my mask on when I go to the bathroom as it is a dirtier place,” San Diegan Makayla Eisenhauer said.

As cases rise and many people gather for various activities for the Holiday season there is one group that some Public Health Specialists are concerned about.

“I think people who are vaccinated have to realize they can still become infected, and even though they might not get severely ill, they have the ability to transmit to other people. So, if you're getting ready to go visit your elderly, you know family members, you might want to take that into consideration that it's important to protect yourself because you want to protect other people,” Garfein said.

Early data shows that while the omicron variant appears to be more transmissible the symptoms are likely less severe.

Public Health Officials continue to recommend vaccination and booster shots as the best defense against all COVID-19 variants.

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