With the emerging spread of the hyper-transmissible yet mildly symptomatic Omicron strain of Covid-19, policymakers have gone back to their 'plague' playbook of masks, vaccination campaigns, lockdowns and other measures despite an absolute dropoff in case fatality rates in regions hit early by the latest variant.
And as Axios notes, Omicron now threatens to 'massively disrupt' the sports world. On Tuesday, 37 players in just the NFL tested positive for Covid-19, the league's worst day since the pandemic began. As a result, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Giants wide receiver Kedarius Toney and Chiefs wide receiver Josh Gordon were among those who landed on Covid reserve as a result.
More via Axios:
NBA: The Bulls on Monday became the first NBA team to have games postponed this season (today against the Pistons, Thursday against the Raptors) as they deal with an outbreak that's already landed 10 players in COVID protocols (of note, the NBA changed its definition of "fully vaccinated" to include a booster as of Dec. 17).
NHL: The league on Monday postponed Calgary's next three games after six players and a staffer landed in protocols. The Flames join the Senators and Islanders as the third team this season with a postponement.
NFL: A record 37 players tested positive on Monday after a weekend that saw at least a dozen other players miss games due to COVID protocols. In mid-November, the NFL announced in a statement that more than 94 percent of players and nearly 100 percent of personnel are double jabbed.
European soccer: At least five Premier League teams are dealing with outbreaks a week after Tottenham's outbreak led the league to reinstate emergency COVID measures. Germany's Bundesliga, meanwhile, is limiting crowd capacity amid rising cases.
College sports: Tulane's men's basketball team is temporarily shutting down amid an outbreak, with all three games this week postponed.
Tennis: Emma Raducanu, the reigning U.S. Open champ who last week was named WTA's Newcomer of the Year, tested positive and is out of this week's event in Abu Dhabi.
Again, this is what we're dealing with in terms of the new threat to the general public by all early indications:
Axios notes that while the Delta variant hit over the summer, when "most vaccinated arms had been freshly jabbed," Omicron is set to hit in the spring, as vaccine effectiveness wanes.