'That's what we expect a virus to do.' Doctor says omicron seems relatively mild so far, spreads very easily

As cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant hit the United States this week, federal and state health officials are still discovering more about the new strain.
Doctors are urging people not to panic over the new variant, but Long Islanders say "it's scary..."
Sherry Goldstein says they are still eating indoors but is masking up more often.
"Now that I heard about the new variant--definitely I'm wearing it much more often," Goldstein says.
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan says that it seems the variant is relatively mild in the cases that have been confirmed and that it spreads easily.
"That's what we expect a virus to do," Narasimhan says. "We expect it to get more and more contagious and to get less and less dangerous as time goes by. It wants to spread, but it doesn't want to kill the host it lives in."
It's not known what the protection is with the vaccines that we currently use.
Narasimhan says we need know if there are more serious cases that we haven't heard about, if the vaccines work against the new variant and how much protecttion do they give.
"I think that's the key question because that's our first line of defense," Narasimhan says.
People are still being encouraged to get the booster.
Those who came out to a vaccination clinic at the New Hyde Park Fire Department are hopeful that omicron is not as dangerous and more people getting vaccinated will mean less people end up in the hospital.