Credit: UNCTAD

For the past few weeks, we have heard whisperings about a new coronavirus variant– omicron. Each little detail we learned was more frightening than the last, raising even more concerns about upcoming holiday travel.

With these concerns comes questions about the possibility of another shut down. For small businesses, especially those that barely scraped through during the pandemic, this is especially frightening. Many are only just finding their semblance of normal and regaining their footing. If another shut down were to happen, these businesses would be in trouble.

Credit: Long Beach Business Journal

“Covid-19 is been one of the biggest threats to small businesses over the past two years,” Lloyd Gronich, an expert from Oak Park, California says. “For many businesses, another shutdown would force them to close their doors for good. We all need to do what we can to avoid another shut down and save these businesses.”

As of right now, we do not have enough details to properly gauge how big of an issue omicron will be to the world, but USA Today reports some promising information out of South Africa. While the strain is being reported as more contagious, it potentially results in milder symptoms. Of course, no infection is good, and with infections doubling every day, hospitals in Gauteng are struggling. Dr. Fareed Abdullah, who works in the current hotspot, is hopeful that the strain does prove to be less dangerous as a whole, but he isn’t convinced it will be.

Credit: European Vaccination Information Portal

“It is essential to recognize that the patient information presented here only represents the first two weeks of the Omicron wave in Tshwane,” he says. “The clinical profile of admitted patients could change significantly over the next two weeks, by which time we can draw conclusions about the severity of disease with greater precision.”

The best thing we can do to protect others and keep small businesses open is to keep safe practices. Wear masks when inside a crowded place (especially around those you do not know), and get vaccinated. If you are already vaccinated, boosters are available to all adults in the United States. Keep your family, friends, and yourself safe by doing your part.