Virus anxiety takes new leap with Omicron scare and rapid rise in COVID-19 cases

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DECEMBER: Covid-19 lines are starting to stretch as people get tested for holiday travel and with the rise of the multiple variants. The Cataldo testing site at Rivergreen (above) is busy. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By Josh Resnek

Christmas season this year is being made all the harder, again.

The COVID-19 has returned, and it appears, with a vengeance.

At the same time, the new world COVID strain called Omicron is doubling and tripling with every second that passes wherever it is gaining a foothold.

There is presently no vaccine for Omicron, which some epidemiologists believe is going to spread so far and wide so fast that we might all well develop it at some point during the next several months.

The dramatic rise in COVID cases is causing alarm in health care facilities and among health care providers all over the land.

The Omicron epidemic is exacerbating that concern, causing many people to grow anxious not only about the Christmas holiday that is upon us, but of the short term future and what it might hold.

The national mood seemed to shift dramatically in the span of a few days with COVID ticking upward and Omicron spreading out in the population.

In cities and towns across the US, cases are rising, employers are postponing return-to-office plans, and school systems are weighing the costs of closing their doors and moving back to remote classes.

For the immediate future, the Everett Public Schools are remaining open with masks required.

However, it is expected that holiday gatherings here and all over the nation will lead to another major untick in virus cases at a time when the nation’s health care system is being challenged by the two competing viruses as well as the so-called delta strain of the COVID.

To date, Omicron has not produced any US deaths.

It was first identified in Massachusetts on December 4.

Its symptoms vary. Omicron is connected with COVID-19.

Those infected with Omicron can give it to those already vaccinated against COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public

Health is urging Everett residents to exercise added caution during Christmas week – to wear masks in public places, and to wear masks if non-relatives are invited for Christmas dinner.

The week began with 13,717 new cases reported Monday.

New deaths totaled 28.

There have been 19,434 confirmed deaths in total.

That brings the total to 947,625.

Confirmed cases by age as reported by the MDPH reveals that the vast majority of those being infected by COVID are between the ages of 20-59, with the lowest infection rate among those 70 and older.

Massachusetts state government has placed a great deal of stress on vaccinating every man, woman and child in the state.

Both Walgreens in Everett, the Broadway location and the Glendale Square location respectively are offering vaccines for Ages 12+ and Ages 5-11 as well as boosters at both locations.

Fully vaccinated men, women and children are now coming down with COVID-19 as a result of Omicron getting into the mix. Omicron is now the dominant COVID strain in the United States. It is sweeping across the nation.

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