Bill Gates cancels his holiday plans over Omicron, says it could usher in 'the worst part of the pandemic'
Bill Gates took to Twitter to share that he’s canceled most of his holiday plans because of the surging omicron variant that could usher in ‘the worst part of the pandemic.’
As the holiday cancellations pile up globally in the wake of emerging concerns around the Omicron variant, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took to Twitter to share that he has canceled most of his holiday plans amid surging omicron variant cases, stating that it could usher in “the worst part of the pandemic’
In a multiple-tweet thread he said that, “if there’s good news here, it’s that omicron moves so quickly that once it becomes dominant in a country, the wave there should last less than 3 months. Those few months could be bad, but I still believe if we take the right steps, the pandemic can be over in 2022."
Highlighting that the Omicron variant is spreading faster than any virus in history and may soon be in every country in the world, he said “the big unknown is how sick omicron makes you. We need to take it seriously until we know more about it. Even if it’s only half as severe as delta, it will be the worst surge we have seen so far because it’s so infectious."
“In the meantime, we all have to look out for each other, especially the most vulnerable, whether they live down the street or in another country. That means wearing masks, avoiding big indoor gatherings, and getting vaccinated. Getting a booster gives the best protection," he said.
He added, “if there’s good news here, it’s that omicron moves so quickly that once it becomes dominant in a country, the wave there should last less than 3 months. Those few months could be bad, but I still believe if we take the right steps, the pandemic can be over in 2022."
He emphasised on getting vaccinated and said that vaccines are designed to prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying. He said, “there will be more breakthrough cases in people who are vx’d, which sounds concerning but is purely a factor of how many people are vx’d and how fast this variant is spreading. Vaccines are designed to prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying & are doing that well."
Meanwhile, adding to the list of cancellations amid surging Omicron cases, the World Economic Forum, scheduled for Davos, Switzerland, in January, has been put off until summer. It’s the latest big conference to reconsider an in-person gathering. While, just last week JPMorgan Chase & Co. decided to go virtual with its 40th annual health-care conference. It was scheduled for Jan. 10-13 in San Francisco, but moved online after Moderna Inc. and Amgen Inc. dropped out.
With the Omicron surge impacting workplaces and various campuses, CNN closed its offices to nonessential workers last weekend, while Apple Inc., Google and Uber Technologies Inc. have delayed return-to-office plans indefinitely. Ford Motor Co. delayed its return until March. Lyft Inc. says workers don’t have to return until 2023.
With Omicron also impacting travel, Israel banned travel to the US and Canada, while France closed to the UK. The Netherlands has gone into lockdown and Japan has announced that the country's borders will remain closed to foreigners.
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