As the epidemic went on into another calendar year, the United States welcomed the year 2022 with an explosion of COVID-19 cases, rapidly filling hospital beds, and canceled flights.

Although some major breakthroughs against COVID-19 were made in the last year, they were not enough to prevent the fast spread of the omicron form. Early investigations have shown that, although being more transmissible and resulting in record-breaking infections and the reintroduction of mask regulations in certain states, the omicron variant is also less severe than other viruses.

According to a USA TODAY review of Johns Hopkins statistics, above 2.7 million cases were recorded in the United States in the week ending Friday, an increase of 105 percent over the previous week. The roughly half-million cases reported on Friday were the third-highest number ever reported. The five busiest days of the epidemic in terms of cases have all occurred in the previous five days, and the United States has recorded more cases in the last six days than it did in the whole month of November.

However, there is still a feeling of optimism, with many people throughout the globe reporting that they do not experience the sense of dread that they had at the beginning of the epidemic.

As part of Expo 2020, a gigantic world’s fair outside Dubai, Lujain Orfi, a 26-year-old tourist from Italy, was preparing to disregard the caution on the eve of the New Year. “If you don’t celebrate, life will pass you by,” she said. “I’m healthy and took two (vaccine) doses. We just have to enjoy.”

As the year 2022 approaches, the virus, which has been in circulation for more than two years, will have touched four distinct calendar years, beginning with the year 2019, which is designated by the designation COVID-19.

Some Latest Updates

  • As the year comes to a close, Hawaii is reporting another day of near-record infections, contributing to a skyrocketing infection rate and populated hospitals.  On Friday, there were 3,290 additional cases reported. Following the announcement of roughly 3,500 new cases, the state more than quadrupled its previous delta variant record on Thursday.
  • More than 3,200 flights were cancelled on New Year’s Evening, and another 3,000 flights were cancelled on 1st January, as per the website FlightAware, which tracked flight cancellations throughout the holiday weekend.

On Saturday, Pope Francis sent his New Year’s greetings to the entire world. In his message, he encouraged people to focus on the good that unites them and condemned violence against women. He also acknowledged that the pandemic has left many people scared and struggling.

“We are still living in uncertain and difficult times due to the pandemic,” Francis said. “Many are frightened about the future and burdened by social problems, personal problems, dangers stemming from the ecological crisis, injustices and by global economic imbalances.”

Many Rome citizens and visitors, many of whom were wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, gathered in St. Peter’s Square on a bright, warm day to hear Pope Francis set out his recipe for global peace, welcoming his arrival.