A new variant of the COVID-19 virus has quickened the pace of how fast the disease spreads. The BA.5 variant is the most common in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It appears to spread at a rapid pace. While it has not caused an upturn in deaths, it has triggered a rise in hospitalizations.
Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told NPR about the BA.5 variant:
Not only is it more infectious, but your prior immunity doesn’t count for as much as it used to. And that means that the old saw that, ‘I just had COVID a month ago, and so I have COVID immunity superpowers, I’m not going to get it again’ — that no longer holds.
Add to this that the colder weather is not as far away as people might think. Fall and winter usually mean a sharp uptick in virus infections.
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If the government decides to reimpose many COVID-19 restrictions, the effect on jobs may look the way it has in other surges. Public-facing jobs, like those in restaurants, will suffer. So will employment in hotels. Surges also have led to job cuts at places people gather by the hundreds or thousands. Cruise ships and theme parks have been hit in the past two and a half years.
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The economy has reopened almost completely in the past few months. Many people believed that the threat of the disease had dropped considerably and that inflections had plunged below the critical line of 50,000 a day nationwide. The CDC currently estimates that numbers at 100,000 a day are too low because of a drop-off in testing.
COVID-19 is not done with the American economy.
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