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Writer says U.S. reaction to omicron is like waiting for fire to go wild before calling fire dept.

The passenger of a flight from South Africa is tested for the coronavirus at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Dec. 2, 2021 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
The passenger of a flight from South Africa is tested for the coronavirus at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Dec. 2, 2021 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

By the end of this month, COVID-19 deaths are expected to reach 800,000 in the United States. That’s roughly double the number of people who died in World War II.

And while there’s plenty to be optimistic about — including effective vaccines and new treatments — there’s a lot of work left to do.

The arrival of the omicron variant shows us, again, that this pandemic is not over yet. Or, as sociologist and New York Times opinion writer Zeynep Tufekci writes, that it’s time we got our act together.

She joins host Tonya Mosley to discuss omicron, what the U.S. is doing, and how we can do better.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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