Should we plod on or panic in the face of the new omicron variant?

There is a weird sense of deja vu here, and the pessimist in me can’t help wondering how many days we have left until we go back into full lockdown, writes Jenny Eclair

Monday 29 November 2021 21:30
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<p>Does the new omicron variant mean that Christmas will be cancelled again? </p>

Does the new omicron variant mean that Christmas will be cancelled again?

Well this is a bit of a kick in the teeth, isn’t it? Just when you get your booster jab and start to relax about mixing and mingling, along comes a potentially more lethal, vaccine-evading new Covid virus variant, aka “omicron”, which sounds like a rubbish IT company. One of those depressing places with its headquarters off a motorway roundabout, a big ugly faceless building where no one can find the door. Ugh.

I was up north when my phone alerted me to this latest Covid strain and my first reaction was to make a weak Twitter joke, likening this omicron variant to a new flavour of popcorn that nobody wants or needs. “Chocolate and wasabi, anyone?” Surely the original variety was sufficient?

As information about the new mutation gathered, so did the storm clouds on the northwest coast, and by the time I left my gig in Liverpool on Friday night, storm Arwen had wreaked havoc across the region and the world already looked like it was on the brink of extinction. The wind howled, bins and traffic cones were flying all over the place, women in high heels clung to lampposts, wishing they’d worn something more sensible, and the roads out of the city were strewn with fallen trees.

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