Some Good News, Bad News About Omicron

Some Good News, Bad News About Omicron

The South African government said yesterday that their health department data suggested that the country had passed its Omicron peak without a major spike in deaths, offering cautious hope to other countries grappling with the variant. Via the New York Times:

“The speed with which the Omicron-driven fourth wave rose, peaked and then declined has been staggering,” said Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council. “Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over in the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave.” The rise in deaths over the period was small, and in the last week, officials said, “marginal.”

Some scientists were quick to forecast the same pattern elsewhere.

“We’ll be in for a tough January, as cases will keep going up and peak, and then fall fast,” said Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington epidemiologist who is a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist. While cases will still overwhelm hospitals, he said, he expects that the proportion of hospitalized cases will be lower than in earlier waves.

NEW: Hospitals worried about running out of PPE, then ventilators.

The new fear: running out of staff as omicron surges.

A close look at what we’re asking of exhausted health workers, entering their 3rd year of fighting the pandemic.

(No paywall.)

— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) December 30, 2021

This ICU is 5 nurses short tonight.
To ensure patient safety, a few of my colleagues have extended their shifts to 16hrs (7am to 11pm). They will be returning to work again tomorrow at 7am.

Meanwhile, 10000 people are at the raptors game. Unfathomable!

— Birgit Umaigba RN, MEd (@birgitomo) December 29, 2021

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