(San Francisco, CA) -- The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading exponentially fast across the country, and some are trying to gain immunity on their own schedule.
If you've ever heard of chicken pox parties, its the same concept, but with COVID instead. Doctors like Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist, say they are surprised by the extreme measure to attempt their own form of control over the variant.
"I think there's a sense of fatalism in people," Dr. Chin-Hong said. "Like, 'I'm going to get it anyways, so why not just get it and get it over with and maybe I won't have that anxiety trying to protect myself'."
Dr. Chin-Hong says COVID parties are much riskier than a chicken pox party from back in the day. His reasoning is largely due to a higher chance from dying from COVID-19 than the chicken pox.
""We're still recording over 1,000 deaths per day and that's no chump change", said Dr. Chin-Hong, "It is a very different ballgame."
The World Health Organization (WHO) have also voiced concerns over COVID parties, saying otherwise healthy people who contract the disease can possibly pass the disease to the vulnerable, develop Long-COVID, or potentially wind up in the hospital themselves. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, The WHO's Technical Lead for Covid, is urging people to stay away from COVID parties.
“The reason we don't want this virus to circulate is number one, your chance of developing severe disease is real", said Van Kerkhove in an interview about Omicron and COVID parties, "If you have underlying conditions, are of an older age, if you've not received a vaccination, you could die. And that's what we want to prevent and we can prevent that.
North Dakota recently held a statewide town hall regarding the Omicron variant. You can read our article and watch the town hall by clicking here.