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Andreas Kluth

What’s Worst About Omicron So Far Is the Uncertainty

Waiting means imagining, and imagining leads to anxiety. And yet, biding our time until we know more about omicron is all we can do.

What next?

What next?

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

So here we go again. The coronavirus has mutated, as we’ve always known it would, and the new variant, called omicron, is spreading fast. Should we be scared or sanguine? Should we change our behavior and plans or carry on? To answer these questions, we need three pieces of information that we don’t yet have. So we just have to wait. And for many of us,  the waiting itself is the problem.

That’s because waiting — for tidings ill or good, ironically — causes anxiety. And it is an affliction that, via the many stress hormones it sends coursing through our bodies, torments us almost as a virus does.