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WATCH: CID Research & Policy Director Lays Out Dark Predictions: “Hard Time Keeping Daily Life Operating”

WATCH: CID Research & Policy Director Lays Out Dark Predictions: “Hard Time Keeping Daily Life Operating”

Throughout the pandemic, experts have made clear that there are many different ways the future of a world with COVID-19 could go, and encouraged the public to take precautions and make the choices that might lead to the least-devastating outcomes. Now one expert, Michael Osterholm, a Director for the Center for Infections Diseases Reasearch & Policy Department at the University of Minnesota, says that we may be looking at very hard times in the next few weeks.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 29: A healthcare worker conducts a test at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Dan Paul Plaza on December 29, 2021 in Miami, Florida. In response to the increasing demand for COVID-19 tests, Miami-Dade County opened two new testing sites and expanding hours at the Zoo Miami testing location. The Zoo Miami testing site is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Shutdowns, curfews, and limitations on gatherings have upset a lot of people across the United States, but appearing on MSNBC, Osterholm laid out a grim prediction for January, describing shutdowns and closures that aren’t due to a mandate or government restriction, but to the rising number of infections itself — an eventuality no one ever hoped to see.

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“Over the next 3-4 weeks, we’re going to see the number of cases in this country rise so dramatically we’re going to have a hard time keeping everyday life operating. Already we’re seeing it in our healthcare settings, where we could easily lose 10-20% of healthcare workers who are not available to work at all, in a very difficult market already. We’re seeing that right now in critical infrastructure areas where people just can’t come to work. To me, ideally, you’d like to have more time to allow people to clear the virus, not potentially transmitting it.”

The CDC has been widely criticized for a recent decision to shorten the length of time a person with an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection is required to quarantine, and there’s a lot of fear for what the highly-transmissible Omicron variant will mean for the future.

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