When it comes to COVID-19 variants, all the media has to do is mention the newest one and people automatically start to feel a sense of fear. And that’s understandable.

After the stress and trauma of the pandemic, of course all Americans are skittish when they hear about new variants. So the new one, which has the name AY/4.BA.1 recombinant, appears to be sort of a cross between Delta and Omicron and thus will be known as “Deltacron.”

That sounds even scarier than Omicron. And it’s likely that it will be here soon. Here’s what we need to do about it:

Like a lot of you, I was terrified at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It seemed to come out of nowhere, like a scary villain in a sci-fi movie. And, perhaps unlike a lot of other New Jerseyans, I calmed down after that. Still cautious, but realizing that there were some things in this world and in this life that I cannot change. (Do you remember the old serenity prayer? The wisdom to know the difference?)

New Jersey, like a lot of other states, was hesitant to lift its COVID-19 restrictions because of the Omicron variant that ripped through the country. What I learned from that variant is that there are always going to be infections and viruses and illnesses that threaten to make people sick and possibly kill them.

Now that the Deltacron is here, a lesson that we have to learn is that we need to go on living without panic, without knee-jerk reactions, without freaking out and imagining the worst. Flu can kill you. Chickenpox can kill you. A tooth infection can kill you. And various variants of what we called COVID-19 can kill you. But there is no way to eliminate every single scary possibility that life throws your way.

UK On Lockdown Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
Getty Images

So soon you’ll see this in the news. It’s in Europe, it’s in Asia, it’s in the U.S., and it will be here in New Jersey. We need to keep our heads about us. We need to understand what the risks are of contracting this variant as opposed to the risks of turning our whole lives upside down to try to avoid it.

Now there are treatments, there are vaccines, there is a heightened understanding of how the virus works and how it travels. We New Jerseyans, like the rest of the country, have been there and back. Are you ready to start the restrictions all over again every time a new variant is announced? Or are we going to handle this with courage and common sense?

Where our personal values, and our choices as human beings are just as important as science?

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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