Doctor says people should continue to try to avoid getting COVID amid Omicron surge

protective face mask with Omicron text
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Despite a top federal health official suggesting most people are going to end up getting COVID, a local doctor said you should keep doing what you can to avoid it.

Dr. Mark Loafman, chair of Family Medicine for Cook County Health, said that even though getting COVID seems inevitable with people all around you testing positive, that does not mean you should let your guard down.

On Tuesday, the acting head of the Food and Drug Administration said “most people are going to get [the virus].”

But, Dr. Loafman said that continuing to try to avoid getting COVID should remain a priority.

“We’re all tired of masking. I’ve got my shields and my goggles and my mask and it’s great to be alone in my office where I can take the mask off, but that’s working I think that’s what the public really needs to understand. These things do work and we just got to hang in there and get through this," he said.

He said that while the Omicron variant is less severe for most people, especially those who are vaccinated and boosted, that’s not a guarantee.

“People were sick for weeks and it took ‘em forever to get better, so that’s a risk. You’re really gambling that you’re going to be one of the lucky ones that fly through this," Dr. Loafman said.

Dr. Loafman added that despite people’s best efforts, some of them will contract the virus.

“One of my poor colleagues was [in] their last week of work before retirement, planning a long-overdue very isolated vacation in a resort setting and got infected. Just unbelievable and she’s pretty sick," he said.

The doctor said he can understand how some people can view testing positive for COVID can seem inevitable.

“It’s sort of a perfect storm from a virology perspective. You have a highly contagious, a little less fatal...happening at a time when people, we have our guard way down compared to what we did when the initial pandemic happened," he said.

Dr. Loafman said you still can live your life and travel and see people, but that you need to be strategic about by keeping your circle small and masking up.