Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! For those celebrating the holidays, Christmas in America has traditionally been a time of peace, family reunion, gifts, feasting, and helping those less fortunate. The New Year was celebrated by family and friends with parties, food and drink, fireworks, and the countdown to midnight. Many have different cultural traditions to bring health, wealth and happiness in the coming year. For the second year in a row, these major holidays have been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the latest variant of concern grows, New Years Eve events are being canceled around the world.
There were 277 cases and two more deaths from COVID in Westfield last week. Two percent of Westfield citizens, or 1 in 50, have tested positive in the past four weeks. This is amazing, considering we thought we had already gone through the worst in the spring of 2020. Despite the evidence that omicron may not cause serious illness, it still has the ability to cause illness and death in anyone. having an underlying health problem.
The effect of this pandemic on our lives is clearly overwhelming. First and foremost, our medical institutions are under stress and are losing staff. They struggle to properly care for COVID patients and other patients in need of care. Patients do not follow their routine care and are at risk of complications and worsening of chronic disease. COVID patients are out of work, out of school and out of other activities. Families wonder who will take care of sick children and other family members. Employers face appeals.