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.
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.
"Over the next 3-4 weeks, we are going to see the number of cases in this country rise so dramatically that we're gonna have a hard time keeping everyday life operating."
— The Recount (@therecount) December 30, 2021
“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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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com