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The omicron variant’s surge will be quick, but really difficult, experts predict

The omicron variant may peak soon as the COVID-19 variant wave already appears set to end in South Africa

Vials of COVID-19 PCR tests.
Vials of self-administered COVID-19 PCR tests sit in a rack at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. Officials think the omicron variant may peak soon, as the COVID-19 variant wave already appears set to end in South Africa.
Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press

The omicron variant COVID-19 surge is expected to peak in mid-January, giving the American population a quick coronavirus surge for the early part of winter.

  • “Omicron will likely be quick. It won’t be easy, but it will be quick. Come the early spring, a lot of people will have experienced COVID,” William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The Washington Post.

This prediction is based on what has been seen in South Africa. Per Reuters, South Africa officials said they believed they have passed the peak of the omicron variant wave, leading the government to raise its curfew.

However, experts have long predicted that the novel coronavirus would have a quick peak. For example, the virus had been spreading for about a month when it first appeared on Dec. 31, 2019, and many expected the virus to stall. No one predicted that there would be two-year pandemic, according to The Washington Post.

  • “Forecasts of how the pandemic will play out have repeatedly been incorrect, to the point that some modelers have stopped trying to make caseload projections four weeks out, instead limiting their forecasts to one week ahead,” according to The Washington Post. “Because beyond a week, who knows?”