The omicron variant of the coronavirus will lead to a massive spike in infections and COVID-19 cases, making January a difficult month for millions across the country, one expert says.

  • “January is going to be a really, really hard month. And people should just brace themselves for a month where lots of people are going to get infected,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN.
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Jha told CNN the fully vaccinated won’t have to worry too much about severe COVID-19 symptoms from the omicron variant. But the unvaccinated may see a rise in severe illness.

  • “A lot of people who have not gotten a vaccine are going to end up getting pretty sick, and it’s going to be pretty disruptive,” Jha said. “My hope is as we get into February and certainly by the time we get into March, infection numbers will come way down, and it’ll also start getting (into) spring, and the weather will start getting better. And that will also help.”

Want to stay safe? Jha said he recommends getting fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, as well as wearing high-quality masks and avoiding indoor gatherings for extended periods of time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about two weeks ago that the omicron variant wave could happen in January 2022, according to The Washington Post.

  • However, the omicron variant wave could hold off until April omicron doesn’t evade vaccines as much as it could, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • Either way, the CDC warned that the “current increases in omicron cases are likely to lead to a national surge in the coming weeks with peak daily numbers of new infections that could exceed previous peaks.”