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Omicron variant will create ‘grim beginning’ to 2022, experts predict

The omicron variant could offer a tough beginning to 2022

SHARE Omicron variant will create ‘grim beginning’ to 2022, experts predict
Shoppers in London.

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping street, in London on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Soaring infections in Britain driven in part by the omicron variant of the coronavirus are rattling Europe. Is the U.S. next?

Frank Augstein, Associated Press

The omicron variant of the coronavirus will create a “grim beginning” to 2022, experts predicted over the weekend.

The omicron variant has started to spread throughout the United States and will likely only spread as we get deeper into winter. In fact, top health officials have predicted cases will start to peak in January.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CNN that the winter will be grim.

  • “We’re all anticipating with Delta, with all the travel that we’re doing and all these holiday get-togethers, the beginnings of Omicron and its spread as well as ... influenza also making its appearance, we could be in for an ominous winter season and a kind of grim beginning of the new year,” he said.

Similarly, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the omicron surge could deeply hurt the U.S. hospital system.

  • “It is quite likely that we are going to see in some sections of the country, a significant stress on the hospital system as well as on the health care workers who are getting exhausted by all of this,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently predicted that the U.S. will see a surge of omicron variant cases sometime January, after the holiday season wraps up, according to The Washington Post.

Experts are especially worried that the omicron variant, the delta variant and the flu will all hit the United States at once, crippling hospitals nationwide.

  • “I’m a lot more alarmed. I’m worried,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.