Breaking News: The U.S. is averaging 267,000 daily coronavirus cases, a record as two highly contagious variants converge and threaten to overwhelm hospitals.

Omicron is sidelining even health care workers as it rips through Texas

”…The high positivity rates haven’t yet translated into more deaths or dramatic numbers of hospitalizations in Texas, but some states that saw a surge in COVID-19 cases in November and early December are near or have surpassed record hospitalizations from the virus…“The difference with this surge is because this is so infectious and everyone is getting sick, everyone is calling out sick,” McDeavitt said. “It’s not as much about the number of people in the hospitals — it’s more about the number of health care workers who they themselves are getting sick and need to be isolated.”…And with many hospitals recording persistent nursing shortages, even if there are available ICU beds, they might not have anyone to staff their departments.

As NFL playoffs approach, growing coronavirus issues threaten competitive balance

”More than 500 NFL players have tested positive for the virus this month, or roughly one-quarter of the players in the league. On Monday alone, 96 players — 74 from teams’ active rosters and another 22 from practice squads — were placed on covid-19 reserve lists because of positive tests.”

Omicron tears across Europe, leaving tests and patience in short supply.

”…“A sensation of greater chaos has been created compared to the severity that the clinical picture requires…Across Europe, records for new coronavirus infections are falling by the day as the Omicron variant tears through populations with a swiftness outpacing anything witnessed over the past two years of the pandemic.

”Britain, Denmark, France, Greece and Italy all set records for new daily cases this week. In each country, health officials suspect that Omicron is driving the infections.

”While there are early indications that the variant might be milder than previous versions of the virus — with vaccinations, boosters and previous infections all offering some protection against serious illness and death — the surge of infections is sowing its own chaos, as people scramble to obtain tests, businesses grapple with staff shortages and New Year’s festivities are thrown into question.”

Omicron is not more severe for children, despite rising hospitalizations.

”…Doctors and researchers said they were not seeing evidence that Omicron was more threatening to children. Instead, much of the rise in pediatric admissions results from the sheer number of children who are becoming infected with both Delta and the more contagious Omicron variant, experts said, as well as low vaccination rates among children over 5…A number of states have reported increases of about 50 percent in pediatric admissions for Covid-19 in December. …A number of states have reported increases of about 50 percent in pediatric admissions for Covid-19 in December. ..experts said that a combination of factors, including low vaccination rates, was the most likely explanation…”

Study: Coronavirus can persist for months after traversing entire bod

(J. Harris: Good, readable article summarizing an involved NIH study.Long term persistant Covid infestation is why folks shouldn’t try to become immune by trying to catch a case of Omicron. GET VACCINATED AND BOOSTED INSTEAD.)




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