SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Globally, the COVID pandemic has caused more than two years of uncertainty — Lockdowns, confusion over the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and the need to adapt to new variants.

The question now is what happens when omicron cases plateau.

Dr. Matt Willis believes COVID-19 will continue to mutate and spread in our communities indefinitely but the severity of illness will diminish with each variant.

Look no further than the difference between alpha, the first strain of concern, then the highly virulent delta variant, and now omicron, which is highly transmissible but causes less severe symptoms.

“When I hear that, you know, in places like Spain, they’re talking about just letting it rip — you know, just basically allowing this to continue through the way we would approach influenza or other viruses, that’s understandable as a strategy — we’re not there yet. We think it’s important to take steps to continue to prevent transmission where they make sense for us. But we are making progress towards that eventual future of an endemic relationship with this virus,” Dr. Willis said. 

Dr. Willis has served as Marin County’s Public health officer throughout the pandemic, a county that ranks among the top in the state of most vaccinated against COVID-19.

Still, he says right now, one in every 20 residents is testing positive for the virus but there are no plans to revert back to a shutdown.

“It’s unlikely we will see a lot of action from variants that have already moved through our community. So, alpha, delta, you know, those are more likely the past. That’s in the rearview mirror, you know. It’s currently omicron,” Dr. Willis said. 

Hopefully not for much longer.

Dr. Willis expects omicron’s case rates to lower significantly in the coming weeks.

meanwhile, he says we are better protected now with effective vaccines, more of us just need to get the shots.