Europe’s latest COVID wave appears to be slowing already, despite all this chatter about omicron overtaking delta by Christmas, as at least one British scientist has suggested it will. And in South Africa, scientists say the omicron variant isn’t causing any deaths or severe infections, in keeping with the view that the variant will likely cause more mild infections than delta.

In the US, the situation is even more subdued. While cases have seen a slight uptick over the past week, the number of deaths has remained near its lows.

 “Although there are still many unknowns about this variant, we strongly recommend getting vaccinated and getting your booster if you haven’t already to help guard against Omicron...It is a new variant, but we know what to do, and that’s to continue with all our layers of protection: vaccinate, boost, mask, ventilate, distance, and test often.”