But the year ends in a dark place. This year was deadlier then the last. More than 820000 have now perished in the United States alone from Covid-19. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting 44000 deaths in the next four weeks.
The once-unthinkable figure of a million lost Americans looks depressingly credible and another White House has often seemed outmatched and hoping in vain for best-case scenarios to unfold as the virus stages fresh assaults.
I think that right now we’re in the public health crisis of our lifetimes Dr. Jonathan Reiner professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University told CNN on Thursday.
A new phase of the crisis
But paradoxically Omicron’s surge of ubiquitous infection may contain within it seeds of hope.
since their chances of dodging infection are now many times worse with the new variant. Overwhelmingly the dying are those who decided not to protect themselves.
It certainly peaked pretty quickly in South Africa. It went up almost vertically and turned around very quickly the government’s top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNBC on Thursday.
Facts are important because facts can spread fear Eric Adams the mayor-elect of New York City told reporters on Thursday.
Facts can also allow people to know that this is not at the place where we have morgues outside of hospitals where we’re seeing people dying at alarming rates. We are not where we were in the beginning Adams said.
The situation is clearly far different than the beginning of the crisis when vaccines were not available and social distancing masking and lockdowns were the only defense.
The economy is also in far better shape this holiday season than last though the Omicron wave will keep wary revelers out of restaurants and bars this holiday weekend and could take some of the heat out of the rebound.
Goldman Sachs predicted the variant could knock US economic growth down to 3.8% next year from an anticipated 4.2%.
Americans also have money to spend. According to Mastercard retail sales were up 8.5% year-on-year this holiday though the biggest economic cloud rising inflation brought about by the shockwaves of the pandemic is a real drag for many working people and could significantly dim the prospects of Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
There’s no healing America’s tortured politics
They may argue that signs the rest of the country is beginning to live with Covid-19 made them pioneers. But their disdain for public health surely exerted a horrible price in terms of sickness and death.
The only people who don’t understand that are Fauci and Biden Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted earlier this month days before hospitals started filling up again.
The national divides widened by Covid-19 have proved that nothing not even a virus that infects without political favor can mend the estrangement of a polarized nation.
More broadly it may be hard to hope that life will be more normal if anyone can remember what that feels like on New Year’s Eve 2022. The fight against a virus that is always one step ahead is relentless and draining.