THE PARTY GOES
ON, FOR NOW
To the best of our knowledge, New York City
hasn’t been hit by anything quite like the omicron
variant of COVID-19 in decades — and
that’s saying something.
When the original form of the virus arrived here in
March-April 2020, it unleashed a devastating and lethal
impact that brought normal life to a virtual standstill. At
its peak, the city saw close to 6,000 infections in a single
n the other hand, omicron has been in New York City
for about a month, and it’s now infecting more than 10,000
New Yorkers every day. This variant moves fast and infects
every host it can, vaccinated and unvaccinated.
But nothing’s being shut down even as omicron
makes the rounds through the city at “the most wonderful
time of the year,” when Christmas and New Year’s parties
abound, and people gather together to celebrate the
Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for instance,
went on Christmas Day without a hitch, as masked worshippers
celebrated the holiest of holidays on the Christian
And still to come is the biggest holiday party of them
all — the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Though scaled back significantly because of omicron,
the party is set to go on with thousands of people — all
required to be masked and vaccinated — welcoming in
Plenty of New Yorkers may say this is madness and
we need to rein activity in again until the omicron storm
passes. It’s a valid argument to make, given the scientific
evidence and all we’ve been through this pandemic.
But there is one encouraging fact about this wave of
COVID-19 cases that stands against that argument: The
reduced hospitalization rate.
Far fewer New Yorkers are being hospitalized, blessedly,
this time around. Vaccines are doing their job, reducing
the severity of illness among those with breakthrough
infections. Monoclonal antibodies and other
treatments have also proven effective at saving lives.
As long as the hospitals can handle an influx of COVID
19 cases, there’s no reason to retreat back into capacity
and activity restrictions. The situation, however, is fluid
because it depends on what we do.
If we keep getting vaccinated, getting booster shots,
masking up inside and staying home when symptomatic,
we can get omicron and COVID-19 under control, and
keep the city moving.
It truly is up to us.
HOW TO REACH US
If we keep getting vaccinated, getting booster shots, masking up inside and staying home when symptomatic, we
can get Omicron and COVID-19 under control, and keep the city moving. Photo via Getty Images
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.12 COM | DEC. 31, 2021 - JAN. 6, 2022
REMEMBERING THOSE WE LOST IN 2021
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As we celebrate the coming of a new year,
please take a moment to offer a prayer for
the members of our human family lost to the
pandemic in 2021.
We might not have known them personally, but in
this international community, many of us have benefited
from their contributions.
Some might have harvested fruits, vegetables
and coffee, or processed meat and other produce that
graced our tables; some might have delivered mail or
other packages to our doors; some might have taught
our children the skills and knowledge needed to reap
benefits for us later; and some might have worked to
manufacture a good or offer a service on which we
have come to rely.
Some might have shared their creative or theatrical
talent to enlighten and entertain us; some might
have saved lives or provided comfort in a hospital;
some might have responded in the line of duty to protect
others; some might have transported us to our
jobs or to see family and friends; and some might have
raised families and sacrificed heroically during wars
to keep this nation free.
All members of our human family lost to the pandemic
in 2021 should be remembered.
Commonly, we are separated by nationality, ethnicity,
race and other categorizations, but the pandemic
has shown we are all related in some way.