Raina MacIntyre in The Saturday Paper:
Denial of Omicron being serious suits an exhausted community who just wish life could go back to 2019. Omicron may be half as deadly as Delta, but Delta was twice as deadly as the 2020 virus. Importantly, the WHO assesses the risk of Omicron as high and reiterates that adequate data on severity in unvaccinated people is not yet available. Even if hospitalisation, admissions to intensive care and death rates are half that of Delta, daily case numbers are 20-30 times higher – and projected to get to 200 times higher. A tsunami of cases will result in large hospitalisation numbers. It is already overwhelming health systems, which common colds and seasonal flu don’t. Nor do they result in ambulance wait times of hours for life-threatening conditions. In addition, a tsunami of absenteeism in the workplace will worsen current shortages, supply chain disruptions and even critical infrastructure such as power. The ACTU has called for an urgent raft of measures to address the workforce crisis.
More here. [Thanks to Den Rob.]