How Omicron Stole Christmas


On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization declared that the variant of COVID, B.1.1.529, more commonly referred to as Omicron, is a variant to be concerned about. While there is currently not much known about this strain, the facts are that Omicron has mutations that impact its behavior and ability to spread and replicate.  While there is data supporting the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in fighting the Delta strain of Coronavirus, the limited knowledge on Omicron has the WHO recommending that even vaccinated individuals be careful. With 12% of COVID tests coming back positive in NJ, with 98% of those infected having the Omicron variant according to, students at Cresskill High School have all heard about the rapidly spreading virus to some extent. The Cresskill Communique spoke with CHS students, to get their perspectives and feelings on the Omicron variant. 

With 80.8% of surveyed high school students having both their vaccinations, it seems that students are hesitant to revert back to their early pandemic ways. One respondent claims that the strain is “not affecting my life at all,” while another writes, “I forgot about it.” In fact, 84.7% of students rated the current “normalcy” of their lives a three or higher, when asked to rate how the measures they have taken to protect themselves against Omicron has affected them (one being full lockdown and five meaning they take no precautions). This reluctance to revert back to 2019 full lockdown ways likely has much to do with the struggles that this sort of isolation comes with, particularly for adolescents. Sarah Seligman, senior at Cresskill High School, says, “what’s most worrisome to me about the new strain is the idea of being isolated from everything again. Especially now that it’s winter and harder to meet up outside due to the cold, I feel too afraid to really see people again and once again and stressed that I will catch it.”

This fear is not unique to Seligman at all. While many CHS students are not living life in full lockdown, many are growing increasingly anxious as the virus spreads. One student writes, “I haven’t been meeting my friends as usual. We had some plans to go outside, but we had to cancel since it’s risky.” Many others express their disappointment that winter vacation plans have been canceled, family has gotten sick, and Christmas/New Years plans have changed. As these numbers rise, we can only continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, and continue to take other necessary precautions in order to prevent another total shutdown in 2022.