The New COVID Variant

Should we be concerned?


Sahar Suleman

*photo illustration

Sehar Suleman, Writer

Since the mask mandate has been lifted for students and staff in the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant has taken precedence worldwide as of February 22, 2022–with potential concerns for a new wave in the US. 

As of now, the Omicron BA.2 variant accounts for approximately 74.4% of cases in the US. According to the World Health Organization, the variant is “inherently more transmissible” than the other Omicron sublineage, BA.1. 

 “This is still an evolving virus and we don’t know what it will look like in the future,” said Rhonda Franks, a registered nurse for Vista del Lago High School. “I mean, more recent variants have definitely become more severe, and I think that we have reason to believe that that’s continuing.”

Despite the lack of knowledge regarding the BA.2 variant, COVID-19 cases are still fluctuating at the school. 

“We had a large rise in the beginning of the year, and then it lulled out, but now we’re starting to see a change again. But, it is the end of the school year so it is hard to say how it’s going to evolve over the summer,” said Christine Scott, the COVID health assistant for Vista. 

Students are in agreement as well, and although the mask mandate has been lifted, some choose to continue wearing a mask. 

“I don’t really wear a mask outside of school, to be honest. I wear it at school only because there are a lot more people,” said freshman, Madeleine Gentry. 

Despite the fact that the BA.2 variant is difficult to anticipate how it will play out, Franks encourages students and teachers to follow consistent precautionary measures to protect themself and others. 

“I think the most important thing I want people to know is that we have all had different experiences with COVID…” said Franks. “We should be kind to each other and not judge each other harshly based on vaccination status or for wearing or not wearing masks, etc, because we are doing the best we can based on our experiences to get through this difficult time.”