COVID VaccinesReturn to WorkMental Health

Doctor says we need to take Omicron more seriously after detailing his son’s symptoms

January 10, 2022, 9:40 PM UTC

“Lower your guard and it’ll pounce,” Dr. Bob Wachter, the chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote in a tweet Saturday about the risk of being infected with the COVID variant Omicron. 

The San Francisco doctor’s tweets come as coronavirus cases continue to surge owing to Omicron, with the U.S. averaging more than 500,000 new cases daily—more than at any previous point in the pandemic. Last week, White House officials warned of a “challenging” next few weeks until the most recent variant peaks.

Even though experts say Omicron is causing fewer severe cases and hospitalizations, Wachter is warning against “resigning ourselves” to getting Omicron, which he described as “an experience best avoided.” 

In the Twitter thread, Wachter detailed his son’s recent experience with Omicron, which caused the 28-year old, who has received three doses of the Moderna vaccine, to wake up feeling “awful” and exhibiting a host of common COVID symptoms, including a sore throat, dry cough, muscle aches, and chills. 

“My son should do OK, but the illness & the anxiety [Omicron] causes are miserable,” the doctor wrote

Wachter is among a large group of doctors, scientists, and public health officials who have become increasingly active on social media since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, amassing large followings. 

Wachter has over 245,500 Twitter followers, a number that has grown exponentially since he began tweeting about the coronavirus in March 2020. 

“Those of us who are the good guys and gals here feel like we have an obligation to put out information that is as correct as it can be,” Wachter said in a Wall Street Journal article about him in 2020.

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.