Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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Hotez: 'We Should Anticipate Widespread Social Disruptions over the Next Few Weeks'

Center for Vaccine Development director Dr. Peter Hotez said Friday on CNN’s “The Lead” that because the Omicron variant is so transmissible, “we should anticipate widespread social disruptions over the next few weeks.”

Hotez said, “This Omicron variant is so transmissible, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before among COVID variants. Almost as transmissible as measles which is probably the most common highly transmissible infectious agent that we know. So the message is if you don’t want to get COVID, keep your gatherings really small. Surround yourself with vaccinated people. This is not the year for big New Year’s parties. I know it’s disappointing, but that’s the reality. And the hope, as Dr. Fauci said, this won’t last too long. It’s a matter of keeping it all together for the next month.”

He added, “This is going to be a very tough time, a tough way to start the year because we should anticipate widespread social disruptions over the next few weeks. First of all, in the transportation hub we are already hearing about TSA workers being knocked out of the workforce. Not because they’re getting very sick, but they are at home sick with COVID. In addition, the air traffic controllers, the ground crew, it’s going to be tough to do air travel for the next few weeks. We should think about hospitals and number of hospital workers, health care providers, doctors’ offices. They’re going to be depleted. The service industry is going to be depleted. Our fire and rescue is going to have a really lot of problems fully staffing over the next few weeks. So the bottom line is to try to be patient. Try and not be too overambitious over the next few weeks. We will get through it, but it’s going to be tough sledding now for the next month or so.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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