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The Live Entertainment Sector Feels the Burn From Omicron Variant

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(CelebrityAccess) – The latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron is now in 77 countries is moving faster than any previous strain. Don Milton, an aerobiologist at the University of Maryland has studied the dynamics of respiratory viruses for decades. He reported via Stat News, “Those early versions spreading in 2020 were not nearly as good at generating aerosols as the Alpha variant. Alpha was more transmissible, and then came Delta, which was more transmissible than Alpha, and Omicron is upping the game even more. So, I’m worried.”

Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the “water.” The Omicron COVID-19 variant is wreaking havoc on the holiday season. Numerous holiday shows, touring artists and sporting events have been shut down/postponed due to rising cases of the new variant. These artists, most of whom are vaccinated and experiencing “breakthrough” cases, aren’t taking any chances in their quest to both “get back out there” and keep their audience safe. Even if Omicron has proven to cause milder symptoms, the alarm is that it could infect an unprecedented number of people all at once. President Biden is scheduled to speak on Tuesday regarding the rising case levels.

Due to the rising Omicron infection rate, the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball final tour stop in Miami was cancelled over the weekend. iHeartRadio tweeted, “Due to the increased transmission of the new COVID-19 variant and to further minimize any potential risks, as a precautionary measure and for the safety of our staff, talent and guests, we have made the decision to cancel”. Numerous National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and National Football League (NFL) sporting events were postponed, LCD Soundsystem has canceled their Brooklyn, NY residency, and the most disheartening, The Rockettes Holiday Spectacular, due to run until January 2nd has gone dark. What’s next?

There’s a light, though dim, at the end of this pandemic tunnel. Moderna announced this morning that early data suggests its half-dose booster shot increased antibody levels against Omicron compared with the levels seen in fully vaccinated people, but a larger sized dose of the booster increases those antibody levels even more. “The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring,” Stéphane Bancel, Moderna chief executive officer, said in the company announcement.

With the holiday season approaching, precautions must be taken. Social distancing, wearing your mask tighter around your face and nose, washing your hands and most importantly, get vaccinated. Much of the US’s population does not want more restrictions imposed. Do what is necessary and stay safe. To take a page from Smokey the Bear, “Remember…Only we can prevent forest fires.” Below is a snapshot of current cancellations/closings/postponements:

Events/Broadway:
The Rockettes Holiday Spectacular
Hamilton
Moulin Rouge: The Musical
Mrs. Doubtfire
LCD Soundsystem Residency
Cancelled Shows/Tours:
Acadia Strain UK Tour
Anika Pyle
Wolves in the Throne Room/Full of Hell
Dave Hause
The Charlatans
The Damned
Brett Eldredge (shows)
Billy Strings (shows)
The Weeknd (FiservForum)
Venues: (Not all Closed/Some are imposing new mask mandates)
New York
Baby’s All Right
Saint Vitus Bar (mask)
Bowery Ballroom (mask)
Mercury Lounge (mask)
Union Pool
Our Wicked Lady

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