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Omicron is the Scrooge

Omicron sweeps across the nation — 73% of United States COVID-19 cases. Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., federal health officials said Monday.

Coronavirus is disrupting the Christmas holiday — As people start to travel for the holidays, doctors warn the surge in Covid-19 cases could continue thanks to the more transmissible Omicron variant.

Business Closures increasing —The pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments above historical levels during the first year of the viral outbreak. Businesses will continue in the later part of 2021 to battle with mandatory vaccinations in the wake of Omicron — Happy New Year!

Two shots + a booster — The Wall Street Journal reported that Moderna is confident the booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine showed signs of working well against the omicron variant, with the latest lab results suggesting people who are boosted may have good protection against the strain.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated “the optimum protection is fully vaccinated plus a boost.” 

(photo: courtesy of Parsyl)

Testing shortage — Easy access to coronavirus tests — both rapid at-home kits and PCR tests analyzed in labs — is uneven across the United States. The nation faces the prospect of explosive outbreaks linked to holiday travel and the highly transmissible omicron variant, connected to sharp surges in cases globally.

Omicron and holidays unleash scramble for coronavirus tests across the U.S.

Be proactive — Expect longer lines in receiving the coronavirus test (PCR and rapid); these could be in short supply due to increased demands. Reports indicate omicron is 70 times more contagious than delta. The rapid spread will apply pressure on a system that has already witnessed increased tests.

By the numbers — How is Omicron impacting health care?

  • The US is now averaging 130,499 new Covid-19 cases each day, according to JHU.
  • This is 10% higher than a week ago, and back to levels last seen about two months ago during the summer surge.
  • Nearly 80% of the country’s intensive care unit beds are already full, and one in five are Covid-19 patients, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Given everyone in the world has a symbiotic relationship with the coronavirus, it is easy to say these holidays will come with a sense of hesitation and precaution. The simple day-to-day routines are not simple, and the days of masks and alcohol gel are far from over. What we are witnessing is not the new normal, but the new standard.

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Tim Ingram