From ventilation to lateral flow testing, let’s try to minimise the risk of catching Covid
For months in the UK we have had 30,000-50,000 new Covid cases of the Delta variant a day and about 1,000 dying from the disease every week, and NHS leaders are saying the hospital and ambulance services are at breaking point. Now, to make matters worse, the Omicron variant has arrived. This new variant will probably evade immunity to some extent, but we don’t know by how much. It may be more transmissible, but we are not sure. And we don’t know whether or not it will cause more severe disease.
Faced with this uncertainty and contradictory messages, what are we to do? After the disappointment of last Christmas, many of us are desperate for socialising, parties and fun. We are also desperate to avoid lockdowns. So should we be making that one stitch now to save nine later; taking steps now to try to save Christmas? Steps such as wearing masks in all indoor public spaces, working from home where we can, only going shopping and travelling where necessary and engaging in only our top priority social events?
Susan Michie is director of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change