The Atlantic Daily: A Very Omicron Holiday

This year’s holidays arrive with a big helping of pandemic stress.

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This week brings tidings of joy—and fear. Americans are gearing up for the holidays just as a new variant helps send coronavirus cases upward. In an address this afternoon, President Joe Biden attempted to quell the public’s Omicron anxiety, stressing that people can still safely gather for Christmas. The White House also announced ramped-up mitigation measures, including the purchase of half a billion at-home rapid tests to be distributed for free.

Meanwhile, many Americans dutifully boarded planes and popped into overpriced rental cars, off to see loved ones for yet another very weird and complicated round of pandemic celebrations.

The rest of the news in three sentences:

(1) Chicago will soon require proof of vaccination in public indoor spaces. (2) The country's largest coal-mining union asked Senator Joe Manchin to reconsider opposing Biden’s Build Back Better bill. (3) U.S. population growth slowed to a historic low amid the pandemic, new data show.

Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Girls5eva, streaming on Peacock, “is a tonal successor to 30 Rock: zany, hyperreal, meme-friendly, a reminder of why the term joke density exists,” Megan Garber writes.

A break from the news:

Neuroscientists are flummoxed by this brain phenomenon, Ed Yong reported in one of our must-read stories from 2021.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.