It’s not your imagination: Every time we feel we’re beginning to get a handle on the pandemic, another variant seems to come along to disrupt the return to normalcy. This summer, it looks like variants BA.4 and BA.5 will lead to rising cases just as omicron did before them.
Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told the Boston Globe that this will be a summer of “substantial infections” because of the new variants.
This will be the first summer since the start of the pandemic that Americans of all ages are eligible to receive the vaccine, so many people are looking forward to summer travel and leisure time, with less concern over the virus. Could these new variants throw a wrench in those plans?
In the past, new variants have been cause for a return of tighter restrictions, but as the pandemic continues, fewer Americans are inclined to change their behaviors because of the virus. The public is generally more critical of COVID response, and less likely to think measures like masking and vaccinations should be required for routine activities, according to research by the Pew Research Center.
Earlier this month when the U.S., ended COVID-19 testing for air travelers entering the country, most Boston.com readers said it was the right move, and some also say they’ve been back to regular travel for work and leisure for some time now. Still, some are still operating with caution.
“This isn’t over by a long shot. Just look at the news and the spikes we’re having,” one reader told Boston.com.
We want to know: Will these new variants impact your summer plans? Are you keeping an eye on the rates of positive cases while planning your family trips, or will the BA.4 and BA.5 variants have no bearing on your vacation or weekend plans?
Share your thoughts with us by filling out the survey below or emailing us at [email protected], and we may feature your response in a future Boston.com article or social media content.