The spike in the Covid cases, fueled by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, is overwhelming hospitals right across the US. Doctors have said that emergency rooms are packed. The Omicron Variant in the US quickly overtook Delta as the dominant variant.
“It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, even at the peak of the prior surges of Covid… What we’re experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments“Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University
On the 29th of December, infection rates of the Omicron variant in the US hit new heights of 300,886 average new daily cases.
To highlight how fast the Omicron variant in the US has spread, in Georgia alone there were 6 major health systems that saw hospitalizations jump between 100% and 200%. It has been sad the majority of the patients had not been vaccinated.
Across the US, 78% of ICU beds are occupied, with 22% of these being occupied by Covid infected patients.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that unvaccinated people “are 17 times more likely” to be hospitalized with Covid-19. This obviously also includes the Omicron variant in the US and elsewhere.
The number of lives the virus is claiming jumped this week by about 18%, for an average of 1,546 deaths each day, according to the data.
There is some encouraging news
“It certainly peaked pretty quickly in South Africa, it went up almost vertically and turned around very quickly,” he said. “I would imagine, given the size of our country, and the diversity of vaccination versus not [sic] vaccination, that it likely will be more than a couple of weeks, probably by the end of January, I would think.“Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The CDC has faced criticism with regards to its new isolation guidance
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) has been facing criticism after advising that the self-isolating period should be shortened to 5 days if the person is asymptomatic. The latest research, and the fact many people would not want to isolate for 10 days, prompted the change in advice.
In a statement to CNN…
“We know that the most amount of transmission occurs in those one to two days before you develop symptoms (to) those two to three days after you develop symptoms… And if you map that out, those five days account for somewhere between 85% to 90% of all transmission that occurs.“
So, according to that, people that test positive but show no symptoms on day 5…
“We shortened the time to encourage people to do the right thing. We don’t want them out and about when they are maximally infectious.“
Is the CDC being treated too harshly? Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said…
“Everything we’re going to do right now is imperfect. Just accept that right now,“
Because the Omicron variant in the US is spreading so fast, it is thought there is going to be a huge shortage of frontline staff. This means there may not be enough people to keep grocery stores and gas stations open. More worryingly, this also means there may not be enough staff for hospitals to remain open as they currently are.
There is no doubt that the rapid spread of Omicron is alarming, let’s just hope that Fauci is correct in his estimation. In the meantime, the very best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else around you, is to be vaccinated.