Trend of intentionally catching omicron is a very bad idea, here's why

Posted at 4:08 PM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 17:24:23-05

(WXYZ) — Omicron is so infectious that many people feel like they can’t avoid it. And the idea of intentionally catching the virus is taking off.

Deliberately catching omicron is a very bad idea. To me, it’s like playing with a loaded gun and hoping that a serious or deadly accident won’t happen. I highly advise against intentionally exposing yourself to the coronavirus, and I’ve got three reasons why.

Number one, omicron is not just a bad cold nor is it mild for a lot of people. Many who get infected suffer with dreadful symptoms like high fevers, chills, body aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and sore throat. So, you might not be sick enough to be hospitalized, but your symptoms are not a walk in the park either. Plus, no one knows for sure how their body will react to COVID-19 and how mild or severe their illness may be.

Reason number two is you could end up becoming a long-hauler. Long-haulers can suffer with several long-term effects like severe fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations, body pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath and sleep problems. You could even end up with damaged lungs, heart and kidneys if you develop severe COVID-19.

And my third reason as to why you shouldn’t intentionally catch omicron is you could spread it to children. I’m a father with four kids. My youngest isn’t old enough to get vaccinated. So, my family is extra careful because there is a high number of children getting infected with the virus. And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are more kids being hospitalized now than in previous waves.

Years ago, parents would intentionally expose their children at chickenpox parties and that didn’t always turn out well. It’s never a good idea to mess with Mother Nature and her viruses. Unfortunately, some children died as a result of being exposed to chickenpox at those parties.

Also, our health system is stressed out. This variant is extremely contagious, so more people are getting infected at the same time, which leads to more people — many who are unvaccinated — developing severe illness and needing hospital care. And these people could find themselves in a situation where there are few to no hospital beds, not enough health care workers and a low inventory of drugs to treat the infection.

So once again, do not intentionally get infected with omicron. There is no guarantee you’ll be 100% fine. But, you can help protect yourself by getting vaccinated then boosted. This is especially important for older folks and people with underlying health conditions who are more at risk overall. I would also recommend N95 face masks and physical distancing in addition to getting vaccinated for these at-risk groups as well.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.