Catching omicron on purpose? Health officials say they’re starting to notice trend across the nation

New concerns are surfacing that many people nationwide might be purposely catching the new omicron variant of COVID-19, just to get it out of the way.


This news comes as many hospitals are being stretched to their max and doctors worry this trend could clog up hospitals even more.


Another concern is that test sites will be overrun with more people.


People deliberately getting infected with the omicron variant is the latest peculiarity of the pandemic. Many are reportedly convinced they will be infected eventually.


“It’s not a very good idea to deliberately expose yourself to omicron. To have a chickenpox party for omicron,” Dr. Chris Dale, Swedish’s chief medical officer told KIRO 7 in an interview.


As pandemic fatigue continues, medical workers are worried more people will take part in this disturbing trend.


While symptoms of the omicron variant are milder than other variants, doctors insist every individual’s body is different in how it responds to the variant.


“We’ve had a lot of cases, for example, where people lose their sense of taste and smell even permanently,” said Dr. George Diaz, Providence Hospital’s chief medical officer.


“While omicron is less severe, on average, it’s hard to know ahead of time if you’re gonna be the one who ends up getting pretty sick,” Dale said.


There’s also the wrath of omicron, which doctors say spreads like a wildfire. So, someone who gets the omicron variant on purpose might indirectly infect someone vulnerable, which Diaz said, “These are people that are elderly, for example, or have an immunocompromising condition that doesn’t allow them to respond to vaccines.”


Doctors said the key to staying safe is to get vaccinated, instead of getting deliberately infected.


“So, it’s still no laughing matter. It’s not like a common cold or something like that, and who’d really want a cold anyway?” Dale said.


All this is happening as both Swedish and Providence hospitals are seeing a record number of people with COVID-19 or COVID-19-related symptoms in their ICUs.