Like all strains of COVID-19, the omicron variant is serious and has the potential to be lethal. The variant has recently been making headlines globally. Inevitably this has re-evoked feelings of dread and reminded us that the pandemic is still far from over - even if the end is somewhere in sight. Since the omicron variant so recent, there is little scientific information on it. Uncertainty can create a sense of fear for many people and so it is perfectly understandable for such pessimistic news to make people feel stressed and anguished.  


Even so, what should our emotional response be to such unwanted news? It seems there is a compelling case to be made to stop worrying so much about the current state of the world. 


It’s worth noting that not worrying does not equate to not taking the virus seriously or acting carelessly. The idea that we can follow the procedures to keep ourselves safe whilst also not worrying about the virus may seem initially contradictory, but perhaps we can take a careful yet less worried approach. 


On a global scale, we have very little control over the virus and there is little point getting emotionally caught up in such affairs. It is really in our personal lives which anxiety may strike; here we have a much higher degree of control. We could choose to isolate ourselves for fear of the virus infecting us or our loved ones. Of course, we must play our part by getting vaccinated, wearing face masks and keeping a distance where possible from those we do not know. But ultimately, we should still try to live our lives as – in some cases – the emotional distress from feeling isolated may have a greater impact then getting the virus itself – potentially. 


In essence, the best thing to do seems to be simple. Do not worry but do be mindful. Being mindful is simply being considerate of our own unique conditions and those of our surroundings whilst remaining calm and emotionally balanced. Being mindful isn’t shunning our feelings and becoming stoic. We aren’t robots and can’t flip a switch to not worry. Being mindful can be as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe or recognising and addressing our emotions openly to ourselves or another. 


After all, the pandemic has had a great impact on everybody across the globe. If we are mindful of each other and take the time to care for ourselves, such as treating ourselves or talking to the people we like, then perhaps we can all get through this pandemic feeling a little bit more optimistic.