Omicron Explosion Spurs Nationwide Breakdown Of Services

Los Angeles County Fire Department vehicles sit at a medical call Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. Occasionally, firefighters transport patients to the hospital in fire engines because of short staffing amid an explosion in omicron-fueled coronavirus infections at an ambulance company that the fire department contracts with. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The explosion in omicron-fueled coronavirus infections has caused a breakdown in basic functions and services across America. Ambulances in Kansas speed toward hospitals and then suddenly change direction because hospitals are full. Employee shortages in New York City cause delays in trash and subway services and diminish the ranks of firefighters and emergency medical services. Airport officials shut down security checkpoints at the biggest terminal in Phoenix and schools across the nation struggle to find teachers for their classrooms. It’s just the latest illustration of how COVID-19 keeps upending life more than two years into the pandemic.


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