“Airports are expected to be the busiest they’ve ever been over the Christmas and New Year’s travel period,” The American Automobile Association wrote in the report. As more people take to airports for travel, some health “authorities” are warning that the new COVID variant JN.1 could disrupt that travel.
“A significant wave [of JN.1] has started here and could be blunted with a high booster rate and mitigation measures,” said Eric Topol, MD, professor and executive vice president of Scripps Research in La Jolla, CA, and editor-in-chief of Medscape, WebMD’s sister site.
COVID metrics, meanwhile, have started to climb again. Nearly 10,000 people were hospitalized for COVID in the United States for the week ending November 25th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, a 10% increase over the previous week.
According to AAA’s Newsroom, AAA projects 115.2 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the 10-day year-end holiday travel period*. This year’s total number of domestic travelers is a 2.2% increase over last year and the second highest year-end travel forecast since 2000 when AAA began tracking holiday travel. 2019 remains the busiest Christmas and New Year’s travel period on record with 119 million travelers.
“This year-end holiday forecast, with an additional 2.5 million travelers compared to last year, mirrors what AAA Travel has been observing throughout 2023,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “More Americans are investing in travel, despite the cost, to make memories with loved ones and experience new places.”
That means a lot of people could see their travel plans changed or become chaotic if the ruling class decides the COVID variant is one to worry about.
The JN.1 variant’s rise here is helping to fuel a significant wave, reflected by wastewater data and case modeling by @JPWeiland 👇
We’re lucky that the booster provides protection against it, but too few (-16% of eligible) have taken advantage to date https://t.co/moo9fp8XLA
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) December 5, 2023
“JN.1 is Pirola’s kid,” said Rajendram Rajnarayanan, Ph.D., the assistant dean of research and associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology at Arkansas State University, who maintains a COVID-19 variant database. The variant BA.2.86 and offspring are worrisome due to the mutations, he said.
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