Omicron Fears Upstage Holiday Cheer
© Sputnik / Ted RallOmicron Fears Upstage Holiday Cheer
© Sputnik / Ted Rall
According to US data, the omicron variant of COVID-19 has emerged as the dominant strain of the contagious disease, accounting for 73% of new infections during the week of December 12. While the omicron variant has been characterized as a "milder" strain, experts have warned the exponential increase in infections could overwhelm health systems.
During a Tuesday address to the public, US President Joe Biden proclaimed that, although the omicron variant has spread "more rapidly than anybody thought," the US is better prepared than it was back in March 2020.
He encouraged Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, pointing out that those who remain unvaccinated "have good reason to be concerned." However, those who have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine "can enjoy the holiday season."
Several iconic holiday events in the US—such as the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York's Times Square—have been scaled back or completely scrapped in efforts to mitigate the spread of the new variant of the highly-contagious disease.