Scotland to End Omicron Lockdown Measures Next Monday

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Posted: Jan 21, 2022 2:45 PM
Scotland to End Omicron Lockdown Measures Next Monday

Source: Jane Barlow/PA via AP

Life is going to start coming back to normal somewhat in Scotland next Monday. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Omicron protocols will be relaxed as the nation has turned the corner on the new variant of the coronavirus that's spread throughout the world like a brushfire. It's a milder infection, but it's more contagious. Look, I'll take that tradeoff. Sturgeon enacted these new lockdown measures prior to Christmas. The virus appears to have peaked in Scotland during the first week of January (via The Guardian): 

Nightclubs will reopen, there will be an end to social distancing and to a three-household limit indoors, Sturgeon said, adding that the country had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”.

But Sturgeon urged the public to remain “cautious” about socialising in larger groups, while government guidance remains to work from home wherever possible and use face coverings, with vaccine passports still in place for large-scale events.

Sturgeon said in her regular statement at Holyrood that the data suggested Omicron peaked in Scotland in the first week of January and that “we are now on the downward slope of this wave of cases” as hospital and intensive care admissions were falling.

Cases were down from 36,526 new cases on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of last week to 20,268 cases reported this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

She said that, after discussion with her cabinet, the remaining statutory measures introduced in response to Omicron – limits on indoor public events; the requirement for one-metre physical distancing between different groups in indoor public places; the requirement for table service in hospitality premises serving alcohol on the premises; and the closure of nightclubs – would be lifted from next Monday, 24 January.

That's certainly good news. Let's hope it stays that way. COVID is here to stay. I don't care about who gets the virus. I don't care which politician or celebrity contracts it. We have three vaccines. We have therapeutics now. This isn't a news story. Do we report or care if Kanye West gets a common cold? No. Who cares? 

COVID is endemic. We'll have to face it every year, but again we have vaccines should anyone choose to take them. Just like flu season, COVID season will likely fall in the same period. Omicron is a no bigger threat than any other virus Americans must deal with on a normal basis. There are fewer hospitalizations, and those who do need such care have reduced stays compared to Delta patients. There is a 74 percent less risk of landing in the ICU if you contract Omicron, and a 91 percent less risk of death from it. No one infected with this variant is on a ventilator. These are the CDC numbers. End the mask madness. End the mandates. Keep schools open. Get on with our lives. Those who want to remain afraid can stay home.