Fears of COVID-19 thwart holiday season hopes -- again

At some COVID-19 testing locations, lines continue to stretch around blocks. In Europe, refrigerator-equipped mobile morgues are in stock. There has been a spike in coronavirus infection rates during winter.

Fears of COVID-19 thwart holiday season hopes -- again


 

The holiday season of this year was supposed to be a rerun of last year's subdued celebrations. It's becoming a redux, with cancellations, and growing angst about the ever-present pandemic.

John McNulty, the owner of Thief in Brooklyn, stated that everyone needs a holiday this year because of an infected employee.

A pall hangs over Christmas and New Years as the holiday season approaches. Worldwide, infections are on the rise. The rapidly spreading omicron variant of Omicron has brought new restrictions to travel and public gatherings that are reminiscent of the dark days ahead of 2020.

Jonathan Neame is the chief executive at Shepherd Neame in Britain, which is Britain's oldest brewery chain and pub chain.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated Thursday that the city would be "watching very carefully" to determine whether it will continue with plans to welcome a fully vaccinated crowd to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. This celebration was canceled last year. The mayor stated that it was a good idea for now.

Numerous Broadway shows including "Hamilton," Mrs. Doubtfire and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were among the many Broadway shows that were canceled due to virus cases in their all-vaccinated crews and casts. Indoor mask mandates were reinstated in New York and California.

Cheryl Bettigole, Philadelphia's Health Commissioner, advised residents to avoid indoor Christmas parties. She called them "just too hazardous" and ruefully discouraged people from getting together with their neighbors for Christmas.

She acknowledged that it was difficult and felt impossible. However, she said, "I must say it."

Nearly two years ago, Americans were caught in an emotional rollercoaster as the pandemic grew and diminished in cycles. The hoped for return to normal was continually delayed. MTV Entertainment Group and The Associated Press -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research recently found that almost half of Americans felt the pandemic had made it more difficult to maintain their mental health.

"I believe that for many people there was a hopefulness that this holiday season would be different. If you had that expectation and didn't adjust it in the last few months, you're likely to be disappointed even more," Dr. Vaile Wright, a psychologist working for the American Psychological Association, said.

Her advice? Her advice?

The omicron variant of coronavirus has sparked concern around the world. It could quickly become the dominant strain in many countries. The fact that many U.S. hospitals are already overflowing with patients infected by the delta variant adds to the anxiety. To assist hospitals, the military and National Guard were enlisted.

Mobile morgues that are equipped with refrigeration, which were once a stark symbol of the pandemic's early days, are back in fashion. One county in Arizona voted to spend $65,000 for a mobile morgue this week because the number of virus deaths has exceeded its capacity. WKYC Cleveland reported that a hospital in Akron in Ohio brought in a trailer in order to triple its morgue space.

People are trying to control their fears.

Yvonne Sidella is a 50-year-old woman from Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. She views the dramatic rise in cases as well as the looming threat to her life with equanimity. It will not affect her holiday plans, which include time with her parents, four of her children, and eight grandchildren.

Sidella, a supervisor in manufacturing, stated that she was not going to let the situation ruin her spirit. I'm going on living my life. "I'm not going let this here thing make me afraid to travel, to do things, or to touch people.

Don Carlson booked flights in September after last winter's COVID-19 spike forced him to cancel his Christmas trip home. He wanted to spend time with family and friends in the Midwest. San Francisco college administrator Don Carlson figured that with fewer infections and vaccinations, he could make the trip to Minneapolis or Nebraska.

Soon, Midwest hospitals began to open up. The omicron variant was then discovered.

Carlson, 59 years old, couldn't make the trip and he cancelled. He plans to stay in Northern California, where he will be able to meet up with some of his vaccinated friends for small meals around the holiday. Zoom calls will be made with his relatives and friends.

Carlson stated, "It's disappointing but even more disappointing is to spread it to elderly people in your family because of the airports." "It's prudent to remain put," Carlson said.

Dakota LeRoy is a Manhattan-based product designer who has been fully vaccinated. She had thought it safe to visit a Christmas themed dive bar last week to celebrate her new job. After a scratchy throat, some sniffles and a sore throat on Wednesday, she discovered she had COVID-19. She was unable to go on Wednesday with her boyfriend to Boston for a holiday visit.

She said, "Everyone that I know is either positive" or has been in contact with someone who is.

April Burns, New York City's bill collector, stated that things are far from normal. She believes the worst is over.

"Last year everybody was shut down. Things are now open at least for now. Burns said that she can go out more and still see people. She was unvaccinated, and was waiting in line near Wall Street to meet city regulations that required her to be tested every week.

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