The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has a reputation for causing mild illness, yet it’s fueling a staggering rise in hospitalizations across the country.
In some of the early hot spots for the variant, emergency rooms are filling up, hospitals are being flooded with new patients and there aren’t enough staff to care for all of them.
We explore why the Omicron surge is leading to hospitalizations and hear from doctors about what they are seeing, and why this surge feels different from the ones that came before.
Guest: Emily Anthes, a reporter covering science and health for The New York Times.
- Covid hospitalizations are surging, though severe cases are a smaller share of the total than in previous waves. With staff shortages, some hospitals are still in crisis.
- In the cities where Omicron first drove a rapid rise in Covid cases, serious outcomes including I.C.U. stays and deaths are following case curves upward.
For more information on today’s episode, visit
Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.