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US newsletter “Zukunftslabor USA”: Corona is back: New York’s lights are threatening to go out again

Christmas New York

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center rises 25 meters into the sky.

(Photo: AP)

New York New York shines in its well-known splendor in the run-up to Christmas. At Rockefeller Center, the 25-meter-high Christmas tree soars into the sky, while people crowd in front of the famous ice ring.

At Bryant Park, just behind the old public library, visitors stroll through the Christmas market while the song “Happy Elf” comes out of the speakers. They come from Arizona, New Jersey, but also from the Netherlands or South America to experience the Christmassy New York that we all know from films.

But among New Yorkers these days there is a queasy feeling of déjà vu that is reminiscent of March 2020. As I write these lines, our son is sitting in his room in front of the Zoom class. Just yesterday, the second Covid case within four days became known in his class. No official quarantine yet, but a “precautionary measure”.

A week ago we too went carefree and vaccine-tested to watch basketball at the Barclays Center. Now the Brooklyn Nets have canceled the next games because they run out of uninfected players. On Broadway, too, ten musicals switched off their lights again after just three months because too many actors were infected. Banks like Citi, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley send their employees back to the home office.

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The queues at the test centers go around entire blocks, you wait for hours. The still-mayor Bill De Blasio wants to decide this week whether the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square can still take place.

73

percent

Omikron proportion of Covid infections in the USA Source: CDC

According to the CDC, Omikron already accounts for 73 percent of all Covid cases in the USA. And the most international city in the USA once again served as a gateway for the virus. Just as the virus was brought to New York by travelers to Europe in February and March 2020 and was finally carried on, so too are the numbers at Omikron, first in New York.

That vague sense of danger and then, for 24 hours a few days later, only the sirens from the ambulances, the dead in the refrigerated trucks and the relief when a hospital ship docked in New York. All of this is still deep within us.

Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out too bad this time. The city’s health experts reckon that Omikron will sweep the city violently and that the peak may be reached in a few weeks, so that the numbers could fall again in January.

The good news: Thanks to the high vaccination rate of more than 70 percent of all New Yorkers, the hospitals should be able to cope with the situation this time. The city’s hospitals registered only 21 percent more people admitted with Covid-19 in the past week, despite twice as many cases in the population, most of them unvaccinated. So we remain optimistic. After all, New York is not that easy to get down.

More: “It’s a patriotic duty” – How Joe Biden mobilized against the Omikron wave.

Reference-www.handelsblatt.com

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