The Latest Stage Of The Pandemic: Chaos (BuzzFeed News)

BuzzFeed News: The Latest Stage Of The Pandemic: Chaos. “You can get together safely with vaccinated loved ones over the holidays, but maybe you should reconsider. Omicron appears to be more infectious, but less deadly; though you should still worry about Delta, which is less infectious, but more deadly. Schools are still open — until they’re not, sometimes not even virtually. Social media is full of posts from friends either out partying or at home quarantining. Please still wear a mask in public, but not a cloth one, even though it’s still common to exercise in most gyms without one altogether. Rapid tests are useful but hard to find and maybe not so useful after all.”

Daily US COVID cases hit record high, as omicron, delta present ‘twin threats’ (CNET)

CNET: Daily US COVID cases hit record high, as omicron, delta present ‘twin threats’. “The number of daily coronavirus cases in the US hit a record high Tuesday, with a 7-day moving average from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing more than 277,000 infections. The previous peak came nearly a year ago, in January. The current surge represents a 60% increase from the week prior, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing Wednesday. But despite that jump, hospitalizations rose only 14%, to about 9,000 per day, and deaths actually dipped about 7%, to 1,100 per day, Walensky said.”

NBC New York: NJ COVID Cases Spike 42% in a Day as Cities Rush to Impose Masking, Close Schools

NBC New York: NJ COVID Cases Spike 42% in a Day as Cities Rush to Impose Masking, Close Schools. “New Jersey reported 9,711 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest by far of the entire pandemic and a 42% increase from the day prior. The stunning surge puts in stark relief just how quickly the omicron variant is spreading in the state and the region. The old record, from mid-January, was nearly 3,000 cases lower than this new single-day mark.”

Washington Post: Don’t feel ashamed for getting covid

Washington Post: Don’t feel ashamed for getting covid. “As two variants collide and states hit new records daily, breakthrough cases are becoming more normal and less of an exception; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns these cases are now ‘likely’ to occur. For many people who test positive during this latest surge, the virus is sparking yet another unpleasant feeling in an ordeal that’s churned out plenty: shame.”

ABC News: With pediatric COVID cases surging, millions of children remain unvaccinated

ABC News: With pediatric COVID cases surging, millions of children remain unvaccinated. “Since the emergence of the delta variant, children have been a significant driving factor behind the nation’s latest coronavirus surges, accounting for about a quarter of the nation’s reported weekly COVID-19 cases. Since July, more than 3.3 million have tested positive for the virus, representing 1 in every 4 cases, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. In addition, the U.S. has not seen a week with fewer than 100,000 new pediatric cases since early August.”

COVID: Omicron variant multiplies 70 times faster than Delta in human airways, study finds (Sky News)

Sky News: COVID: Omicron variant multiplies 70 times faster than Delta in human airways, study finds. “The Omicron COVID variant multiplies 70 times faster than Delta in human airways, according to researchers. The study, by researchers in Hong Kong, also suggests the variant replicates less well in human lung tissue compared with the original strain of the virus – perhaps indicating a lower severity of disease.”

Bloomberg: New York Area Bears the Brunt of Omicron on Top of Delta

Bloomberg: New York Area Bears the Brunt of Omicron on Top of Delta. “We might get lucky and find omicron doesn’t lead to widespread severe sickness and death. Scientists have done laboratory studies showing that the standard two-dose mRNA vaccines are unlikely to offer much protection against omicron infection, though they might protect against serious disease. And those same experiments suggested that people who get a booster will get about 70% or 75% protection against symptomatic infection. But the Harvard Medical School scientists are alarmed at what’s happened since Thanksgiving, when the variant first came to people’s attention.”

New York Times: Scientists Are Racing to Gauge the Threat of Omicron

New York Times: Scientists Are Racing to Gauge the Threat of Omicron. “In South Africa, Omicron spread twice as fast as the highly infectious Delta variant. In Britain, officials have estimated that 200,000 people are becoming infected with Omicron every day. In Denmark, Omicron cases are doubling roughly every two days. And early data from the United States suggest that Americans will not be spared. ‘No part of the country will be safe from Omicron,’ said Shweta Bansal, a disease ecologist at Georgetown University.”