The COVID-19 Omicron variant has abruptly changed the realities of the pandemic.

While it is up to the scientific community to determine its characteristics, we too have both a collective and individual duty.

We must continue to behave with the knowledge that the pandemic is still here and not to ignore its spread in the population. That means we must adhere to protective measures, be vaccinated, respect our fellow human beings, and be vigilant if we become infected.

We say this because we see irresponsible behaviours and an attitude that the virus is no longer with us, even though there is a very high number of infections, deaths, and intubations in the sorely tested and tired – but also heroic – National Health System

It is up to us to move forward and not backward. It is up to us to make sure that the combination of vaccination and public health measures brings us out of the woods definitively, as it has in Portugal, and not to have a backpedaling that will harm the economy and our social cohesion.

Let us, for example, listen to the message of famed epidemiologist Anthony Fauci (photo), who says that it is better for us to overestimate a new danger than to underestimate it.

It is logical for society to be tired by this collective adventure of the last two years.

Let this new challenge be an opportunity for us to exhibit maturity and endurance.