HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Many across the U.S. get their information about COVID-19 online, but there is a new worry on social media: People wanting to get COVID-19 to “get it over with.”

“We have to be careful with misinformation, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, can cause a lot of harm,” said Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado, Infectious Disease Specialist at Valley Baptist Medical Center.

With people taking to social media platforms the idea of deliberately catching omicron, Dr. Maldonado does not agree with that idea.

“It can send you to the hospital, get you sick for a very long time at the minimum or maybe you’re lucky it’s a short time, or it can kill you,” he said.

Dr. Maldonado shares that people don’t realize everyone reacts differently to COVID-19, which is why intentionally catching it could put you at risk. 

“You don’t know if you’re going to have a severe illness and then get hospitalized or die, especially if you have risk factors, so the concept of herd immunity that it’s what some people are expecting to reach, this is not the right way to get to that,” said Dr. Maldonado.

There is also the idea of missing work for five days while you quarantine, but Dr. Maldonado explains that will only put a shortage on many industries already hurting. He suggests getting the vaccine to prevent severe illness from the virus.

“Ideally the perfect vaccine will prevent you from getting even a mild illness. But because it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean the vaccine is not a good one,” said Dr. Maldonado.

He adds omicron is much more transmissible than other variants. Dr. Maldonado also wants people to be careful about the information they run into online and do research themselves.

“The level of responsibility about the way we communicate and transmit information is even higher than it was before because of this globalization of information so be aware of that,” said Dr. Maldonado.