The emerging Omicron variant is now colliding with sports but for how long?

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 9:31 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - The Omicron variant of COVID is beginning to make its presence felt in a very real way and it’s not just on the medical front; sports venues are either being cancelled or rescheduled.

One has to wonder when in the world will all this end. One prominent physician here in Alabama says maybe not for a while but.. there are some encouraging signs.

This much we know today; the omicron variant is now the dominate virus but the next few weeks could really tally the score on just how much of a threat it really is.

Sports could very well be that ‘barometer’, according to Dr. Don Williamson of the Alabama Hospital Association.

“I think sports is going to be impacted. We clearly know omicron is going to stay,” said Dr. Williamson.

Across the spectrum in the sports world the omicron variant is proving to be a worthy opponent or at least the threat of it. The NHL, for example, has postponed 27 games; 5 games cancelled by the NBA and the NFL has delayed a few games. Yet so far no change in the college football bowl schedule.

“The only questions dramatic will the effects be and how quickly will this burn through the population and how long,” said Dr. Williamson.

The prevailing attitude in the medical industry is ‘prepare for the worst, pray for the best.’ Is there a chance we’re overreacting? Maybe. The fact is as of today more than 200 million Americans have been vaccinated, according to various medical publications.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have enough data to know whether this is going to be a severe problem,” Williamson said.

In other words, it’s too early to tell. But Dr. Williamson offers a bit of hope and encouragement.

“The virus can mutate in a way that’s less dangerous because needs the in order to replicate,” he said.

Now you may be wondering how did the college football season largely escape the Delta variant. Two reasons, according to Dr. Williamson; Delta had already peaked by the time season started.. and most of the games were played in open-air stadiums.


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