Just When We Thought It Was Safe, Omicron Spoils Everything
Decision fatigue. Rinse and repeat. Decision fatigue…
Remember in November when the Covid pandemic seemed to finally fading away? When air travel, conferences, family gatherings, and a return to the office were on everyone’s mind, if not their lips? Well, that was a nice break, short-lived as it was.
With the omicron variant now raging across the country, it seems a distant memory that only a month ago our editorial team discussed closing down this newsletter. After all, Covid was on the run, right?
In September 2020, 9 months after Covid began turning everyday life inside out and upside down, this newsletter ran an article about decision fatigue that now has more “Reads” than we could possibly have expected – a lot more! The notion clearly struck a chord with readers. Find it here.
This past Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on decision fatigue and how to beat it. Here’s the lead sentence : “We’re tired and overwhelmed by choices big and small, from whether to take a new job to what to have for dinner.”
The article cites a survey from the American Psychological Association conducted last year, which found that nearly one-third of adults and nearly half of Millennials are struggling with basic decisions, such as what to eat or wear. And about half of respondents said planning for the future felt impossible because of the pandemic.
Omicron, first reported last November, put a damper on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday and year-end gatherings. However, with plans already well in place and the pent-up desire to spend face time with family and friends after a year-and-a-half of isolation, school closings, shuttered businesses, and empty or partially filled sporting events, Americans traveled by plane, train, and automobile to spend time with people they love. The result? Record numbers of people contracting the virus in the following weeks. A few quick stats from across the country:
- The omicron variant accounted for an estimated 95 percent of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. for the week ending Jan. 1, according to CDC data.
- The U.S. reported 1,082,549 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, Jan. 3, setting a one-day record, Johns Hopkins University reported.
- California: According to state figures, 2,240 Covid-positive patients were in county hospitals as of Tuesday, up from 1,994 on Monday. That number is the highest it has been since February 2020.
- Minneapolis & St. Paul have reinstated mask requirements for local businesses and city buildings starting today.
- Austin: Local health leaders predicted the omicron surge will last until early March. But who knows really?
Across the nation, school systems are in conflict about in-school vs. remote learning. Hospitals already are dealing with overwhelm and supply shortages, and many non-Covid procedures are on hold. NFL and NBA games are being played without star performers. Supermarkets have empty shelves and many retailers are at a loss, in every sense of the word.
We could go on, but okay, we don’t want to be a total buzzkill. You get the idea: People are dying, life is being seriously disrupted once again, and no one really knows what tomorrow may bring.
Well, we’re making a decision – to keep this newsletter going, at least for now! See you next month, hopefully with some better news. For some positive developments right now, check out the rest of the articles in this newsletter. Life goes on… not as usual, and not for everyone. Stay safe.
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