January: We hate it, but the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has prompted our Steering Committee to unanimously decide to cancel outings for January. We’ll revisit our operating status at the start of each month so that we can adapt to changed circumstance. Our hope is that the Omicron surge will pass as swiftly as it arrived, and that public health resources will then be sufficient to cope with what remains of the pandemic. We do anticipate a new normal, eventually, where periodic, mild to moderate illness among the vaccinated is the risk assumed in going about our lives normally. But we also expect that this new normal to be responsible and sustainable only when supplies of antivirals, monoclonal antibodies, and other essential medical resources are in adequate supply.
Going Forward: When we resume operations, it is almost certain that we will require all participants on our outings to be vaccinated, a requirement that would likely not extend to our after-school program (unless BVSD has required vaccination). We are also likely to require N95 masks or equivalent (and to furnish those masks to our participants as needed).
The Boost: We also strongly encourage parents to boost their children because this additional dose, when timed 5 to 6 months after the original series, broadens immune readiness to cope with Omicron and such additional variants as may arise. We also note that the latest studies support immunization with proper medical supervision even among those with immune hyperactivity.