By Karla Prudhomme
The Holiday airline travel woes are a prime example of the turmoil resulting from the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
More than 4,000 flights were canceled, during the second half of the last month of the year, leaving travelers stranded at airports and, worse, keeping families separated during the holidays.
Sports also fell victim to the recent spike of Covid cases, as five college football Bowl Games were canceled, and more than one-hundred college basketball games have been canceled or paused because of the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The current rise in new Covid cases in Northeast Tennessee shows numbers that have not surfaced since this past September, and Johnson County, along with all other counties in our region, continues to experience elevated levels of community spread.
According to the CDC, 37.1 percent of Johnson Countians are fully vaccinated, but with fifty-eight active cases reported locally on January 2nd, many residents are concerned about returning to school and working after the holidays.
Misty Melhorn, a local resident with two school-aged children, said, “I am worried about my children getting any of the Covid variants, especially as they got Covid last year and had to miss a lot of school.”
Michael Eggers, a teacher at Johnson County High School, added, “Of course, I am concerned, but not as concerned as I would be if I weren’t immunized and boosted,” voicing an opinion held by many who have noted the differences in the severity of symptoms.
Aiden Walker, a Shady Valley resident and a first-year student at Northeast State Community College, stated, “I am not worried about Omicron- I am healthy and am excited to get back to school.”
Walker went on to say that he “wishes everyone good health in this new year.”
‘Covid fatigue’ was the coined phrase for 2021, but hopefully, 2022 will see an end to this phrase and an end to this pandemic.