Pondering A New Normal As The Omicron Surge Continues : Short Wave The U.S. is experiencing a viral blizzard which will likely continue through January, 2022. The omicron variant's surge is pushing hospitalization rates up across the country and most of the seriously ill are not vaccinated. With likely weeks still to go before infections with this variant reach their peak, the message is get vaccinated and get boosted. Emily Kwong talks to Short Wave regular Allison Aubrey about what researchers know about omicron's severity and how the vaccines are changing health outcomes. They also talk about COVID-19 and children. And, they'll talk about some strategies to figure out how to live with the virus circulating, possibly for years to come.

Write us with your omicron questions at shortwave@npr.org.

Pondering A New Normal As The Omicron Surge Continues

Pondering A New Normal As The Omicron Surge Continues

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People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing facility in Times Square on December 9, 2021 in New York City. Spencer Platt / Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt / Getty Images

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing facility in Times Square on December 9, 2021 in New York City.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The U.S. is experiencing a viral blizzard which will likely continue through January, 2022. The omicron variant's surge is pushing hospitalization rates up across the country and most of the seriously ill are not vaccinated. With likely weeks still to go before infections with this variant reach their peak, the message is get vaccinated and get boosted. Emily Kwong talks to Short Wave regular Allison Aubrey about what researchers know about omicron's severity and how the vaccines are changing health outcomes. They also talk about COVID-19 and children. And, they'll talk about some strategies to figure out how to live with the virus circulating, possibly for years to come.

Write us with your omicron questions at shortwave@npr.org.

This story was produced by Thomas Lu and edited by Jane Greenhalgh and Gisele Grayson. Gisele and Berly McCoy checked the facts.