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Photo: Spencer Platt (Shutterstock) The forecast is not looking good. I’m not talking about weather (although climate change is its own crisis). I mean the COVID-19 case numbers. When vaccination rates were high in June, it looked like we might have been near the end of this whole pandemic thing, but then came Delta. And now that Delta is beginning to fade, we have to figure out what to do about Omicron. This winter isn’t going to be easy, especially since the flu and other respiratory viruses are on the rise as well . Vaccines still work against Omicron There’s good news and bad news about the hot new variant in town. First, the bad: Omicron seems to be more transmissible than Delta , which was already drastically more transmissible than previous variants. But there’s good news, too: Evidence is emerging that Omicron might cause less severe disease . Ironically, the best-case scenario would be if we got a variant that was incredibly transmissible, so that it would out-compete all the other variants, but that would also cause only mild or asymptomatic illness. That would put it on the level of the common cold, something we can resign ourselves to living with. We don’t know yet if Omicron is mild enough to be that best-case variant. But at least it’s not more virulent, which is what passes as a bright side for now. Okay, but then there’s more bad news: Caccines (and previous infection) don’t protect as well against […]