Nobody had an Omicron on their holiday wish list. But it is here.
What is the latest?
The COVID-19 variant has now been defined in all 50 states. It is the dominant strain, accounting for nearly three-quarters of new cases. Breakouts are on the rise, with vaccines likely to reach 30-40% efficacy against infection (But it is higher against severe disease). Earlier this week, President Biden announced a new line of defense. Think: vax clinics for reinforcements and more testing sites. Not the gifts we were expecting, but we’ll take them. Some health experts say that’s not enough. But now, there is a new treatment for COVID-19 on horizon.
Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency clearance to Paxlovid from Pfizer. Read: The first home remedy for COVID-19. Anyone over the age of 12 And in great danger From severe disease that shows positive results, a prescription can be obtained. data It appears that the pill can reduce hospitalization and death by nearly 90%. They are expected to work against Omicron as well. The United States purchased 10 million courses of treatment. But only 265,000 will be available in January because it will be available in At least half a year for its manufacture. Meanwhile, new research suggests that Omicron could be milder than the delta variant.
Well, this is good news.
that it. But until the data is settled and the pill is widely available, Omicron is forcing many people to make tough decisions. Many are rushing to get tested before Holidays. Health officials may sound like records are broken but they remain adamant: The most effective way to protect yourself and Others are getting vaccinated, Including a booster syringe. For those able to see the family, consider: Air travel is expected to exceed the highest levels of travel on Thanksgiving. If you are walking around the house, take care of yourself. You can enjoy a good book, return to enterprise mode, or quarantini’s work.
COVID-19 is frustrating a lot of vacation plans. But we’re not back to where we were in 2020. Vaxx, hide and rejoice – or at least treat yourself to something that might be.
note: If you test positive, we’ll go over what to do next in today’s episode of Skimm This. Think: everything from whether you want to eat out to who to text. Tune in tonight at 5pm ET.
And also… this
Who presses the ‘Pause’ button again…
President Biden. Yesterday, he announced plans to extend the moratorium on student loan payments through May 1. It has been put on hold since the early days of the pandemic, allowing borrowers to avoid adding interest if they need more time to raise money together. The reservation has already been extended four times. Payments were due to rebound again on Feb. 1. Now, the extension could be a savings boon for some 41 million borrowers — 27 million of whom are said to have not paid their bills since early 2020. Biden said millions of student loan borrowers are “still dealing with the effects of the pandemic.” Progressive Democrats say “OK, but do you remember your plan to cancel some student debt?” She points to the positive impact that such a move could have on black wealth. Republicans say “the money has to come from somewhere”. And you don’t want other taxpayers to have to foot the bill.
note: paying off our guide On managing student loans in the pandemic.
What is under the microscope…
Astroworld. Yesterday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee launched an investigation into the killer music festival. Last month, about 50,000 people gathered for Travis Scott’s completely sold out party in Houston, Texas. But the wave of huge crowds left 10 dead and hundreds wounded. Many wonder what safety measures could have prevented this. The victims and their families filed nearly 300 lawsuits. Now, committee members are looking into what led to the tragedy. They cited concerns that medical and security staff were “inexperienced”. And you want answers about what exactly the event organizer (Live Nation) did to prepare for the concert. The company has until next month to provide some answers.
note: On the last episode of “Pop Cultured”, We talked about what happened at Astroworld, the culture Travis Scott created around his shows, and the potential legal consequences.
What will start on 3, 2, 1…
James Webb Space Telescope. On Saturday, NASA is scheduled to launch the largest and most powerful space telescope in the world. Scientists hope Webb will help “uncover new and unexpected discoveries.” Did someone say aliens?
While navigating tough political conferences during the holidays…
Here are some tips on how to talk about your personal reproductive choices.
Who’s the runner, who’s the track star…
Skimm’d by Rashan Ayesh, Kate Gillhall, Marisa Smuggle, Clem Rubino, and Julie Shine