2:28 PM PST, December 27, 2021
It’s the nightmare after Christmas for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Three-thousand flights were canceled over the holiday weekend when Omicron hit air crews, grounding planes and stranding passengers. And the mayhem wasn’t just on the ground.
There was a shocking scene aboard a flight from Los Angeles to Memphis as two men clawed and wrestled each other in a fight over masks.
On a Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta, there was another fight over masks, before a quick-thinking flight attendant used a food cart to break it up.
It’s like 2020 all over again, with over 200,000 new cases a day and dire warnings of up to one million per day in the future.
There are also fears that the Omicron variant may combine with the flu for a one-two punch.
“At the same time, influenza is waking up around the country starting to spread itself. If the two of them come together, we might have one of those twindemics we’ve been worried about — both flu and COVID at the same time. That would be a big hit to the health care system,” infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner said.
Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve could bring with it the risk of superspreader events.
Only about 15,000 people will be allowed into Times Square this year to watch the ball drop, and they will all have to wear masks and show proof of vaccination.
“When you’re talking about a New Year’s Eve party where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of their vaccination. I would recommend strongly — stay away from that this year,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
COVID-19 is hitting Broadway very hard, with a slew of canceled shows and disappointed fans. “The Music Man” star Hugh Jackman paid tribute to actress Kathy Voytko, who stepped in after just one rehearsal when leading lady Sutton Foster tested positive.
“I’m emotional because it humbles me — their courage, their brilliance, their dedication, their talent. The swings, the understudies — they are the bedrock of Broadway,” Jackman said.