More exposure, weakened vaccines: Omicron spreads amid holidays

Crowds line up in Times Square on December 18, 2021 to get tested for COVID-19 as cases sharply rise in the city. Photo by Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto.

States nationwide are seeing COVID-19 surges, and New York reported more than 60,000 new cases this past weekend, the most since the start of the pandemic. “We're seeing both a reduction in the ability of the vaccines to protect you against the basic infection, but we're also seeing the fact that you're being exposed so many times, that the number of times your body's able to defend itself declines over time,” says Dr. Jay Varma, epidemiologist and Weill Cornell professor. 

A U.S. federal appeals court reinstated a Biden administration rule that mandates businesses with 100 or more employees to require COVID vaccinations or weekly tests for unvaccinated workers.

Pitchfork editors share the year’s popular music books, including “The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop” by Clover Hope and “Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres” by Kelefa Sanneh.

Amy Schneider has earned more than $500,000 total from winning “Jeopardy!” 13 times so far. She’s also the most successful trans candidate the show’s ever seen.