Fresh Insights on the New Variant The Omicron Wave Hits Europe

The latest variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading across Europe, and health-care systems in some countries are already overwhelmed. Fears are growing that Omicron will unleash the worst wave yet seen in the pandemic.
An intensive care nurse in Magdeburg, Germany. A new wave of hospitalizations could be coming.

An intensive care nurse in Magdeburg, Germany. A new wave of hospitalizations could be coming.

Foto: RONNY HARTMANN / AFP
DER SPIEGEL 51/2021
SPIEGEL International
The Louise restaurant in Oslo: 145 new infections after a Christmas party.

The Louise restaurant in Oslo: 145 new infections after a Christmas party.

Foto: Ole Berg-Rusten / dpa
"With Omicron, the cards in this pandemic are being re-shuffled – unfortunately in favor of the virus."

Virologist Melanie Brinkmann, a member of the German government’s new expert council

Michael Meyer-Hermann, a mathematical modeler at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research: "Omicron could be responsible for half the cases in Germany within two-and-a-half weeks."

Michael Meyer-Hermann, a mathematical modeler at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research: "Omicron could be responsible for half the cases in Germany within two-and-a-half weeks."

Foto: Angelina Vernetti
Virologist Christian Drosten: "The apparent reduction in disease severity is merely a consequence of population immunity.”

Virologist Christian Drosten: "The apparent reduction in disease severity is merely a consequence of population immunity.”

Foto: Marzena Skubatz / laif
"You have to act quickly. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of a full lockdown is likely to be."

Danish epidemiologist Troels Lillebæk