The blessing of Thanksgiving on Thursday was followed by a curse on Friday: Urgent news about the new Covid variant named Omicron.
The reality is that "we know almost nothing about the Omicron variant," as this headline on The Atlantic's website helpfully states. But the abrupt reactions to the news -- stock selloffs, travel restrictions, endless Twitter threads -- made Omicron the top story of the weekend across all sorts of news websites and networks.
Now the world is in a sort of information holding pattern. Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it this way: "South Africa has gifted us an early warning with Omicron. But earlier the warning, the less we know."
"Wait two weeks" seems to be the consensus at the moment. Dr. Paul Burton, the chief medical officer for Moderna, told CNN on Sunday, "We have to go through a couple of weeks here of uncertainty." The White House's readout of President Biden's meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of his Covid Response Team made the same point.
"Dr. Fauci informed the President that while it will take approximately two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the variant, he continues to believe that existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of Covid."
Read Stelter's full story here.