After missing out on holiday gatherings last year, many people had been planning for months to celebrate Christmas with loved ones. Now, with the surge of Covid-19 cases, some are canceling those plans just days away from the holiday. The new coronavirus strain, Omicron, is contributing to the rise in cases, and has become the dominant strain of the virus in the US, according to data posted Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Omicron accounted for over 73% of new coronavirus cases in the US last week.
The case surge is forcing people to rethink their travel plans so as to keep their families safe, and instead of in-person celebrations, some are going back to the Zoom calls of 2020. Antonius Wiriadjaja, 38, hasn't seen his family in person since Christmas of 2019, he told CNN. But this year, thanks to being vaccinated, the New York artist was planning on bringing his parents to the city from Boston.