Commentary: The pandemic isn’t over. Omicron won’t be the last coronavirus variant to haunt us

Think back to late June 2021, when there was containment of the American COVID-19 pandemic with fewer than 12,000 new cases a day and a total of 15,000 patients in the hospital. There was a declaration of independence from the virus on July 4, just as the delta variant was starting its exponential growth. A major surge ensued, which was followed by yet another one with the omicron variant, peaking with nearly 160,000 people hospitalized and almost 2,700 deaths per day — the most deaths since vaccinations became widely available.