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The Omicron Shift in Europe: Pandemic or Endemic? – The New York Times

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A number of governments have changed their approaches to the coronavirus, to one that is more like how we treat the flu. Public health experts say it’s too soon to make that call.
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LONDON — In Britain, France, Spain and other countries across Europe, politicians and some public health experts are pushing a new approach to the coronavirus pandemic borne of both boldness and resignation: that the illness is becoming a fixture of daily life.
Governments are seizing a moment in which their populations have experienced less severe illness, and, in some instances, a drop in new daily cases after weeks of record growth. And they are moving their mitigation policies off emergency footing.
In Spain, for instance, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared last week that citizens would “have to learn to live with it, as we do with many other viruses,” and said that the country should adjust the national approach to more closely align with how it handles influenza outbreaks. Olivier Véran, the French health minister, said recently that France’s high level of infection and strong vaccination rate could “maybe” mean this would be the final wave.
The shift comes even as the World Health Organization cautioned this week against treating the virus like the seasonal flu, saying it was too soon to make that call. Much about the disease remains unknown, the W.H.O. said. And a surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant is still battering the continent, while the population of much of the world remains vulnerable because of a lack of widespread vaccination, and more variants are still likely to arise.
Still, advocates of the “learn to live with it” approach point out that the latest surge in cases is different from the early days of the virus in several important ways, including a largely vaccinated population in parts of Europe, especially in the West, and a far lower rate of hospitalization.
The sentiment is evident in the evolving policies that the British government has adopted since the start of this year, a stark departure from the “war footing” that the country’s health service preached in December.
The changes include shorter isolation periods and the elimination of pre-departure tests for people traveling to England — largely because Omicron was already so prevalent that the tests had a limited effect on its spread.
There have been some concrete signs that Britain may be turning a corner. There were 99,652 new cases reported on Friday, a notable drop from the 178,250 cases reported on the same day last week.
“It can’t be an emergency forever,” Graham Medley, a professor of infectious disease modeling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told BBC Radio 4 this week. He added that the end of the pandemic was likely to occur in phases rather than appear as “an active point in time” when it can be declared to be over.
Amid this shift, the messaging to the public has varied, often in confusing ways. The guidance can be all over the map, with some politicians declaring the latest wave over and others advocating a gradual return to normalcy — all while many experts express caution about all of the unknowns and the potential for new variants.
Peter English, a retired consultant in communicable disease control, said that for many public health experts and scientists in Britain, the debate had shifted away from lockdowns to common sense mitigation measures. Most are now encouraging measures like mandatory masking in public settings and legislation for ventilation standards.
“There had been an argument about zero Covid and trying to eliminate the virus through restrictions,” he said. “I think that we’ve lost that argument. I think that by allowing it to spread to the extent it has, it will be very, very difficult to put the genie back into the bottle.”
From that perspective, he said, “we’re going to have to live with it being endemic.” But, he added, “Endemic doesn’t mean not serious,” and he urged caution against the idea of simply “learning to live with it” without mitigation measures in place.
One of the biggest concerns in England has been the intense pressure that the virus puts on the National Health Service, or N.H.S. But some of the immediate concerns that Britain’s hospitals could become overwhelmed with patients during this latest wave have begun to ease.
Matthew Taylor, the head of the N.H.S. Confederation, a membership organization for the heads of hospitals, said on Wednesday that “unless things change unexpectedly, we are close to the national peak of Covid patients in hospital.”
In Spain, a new monitoring system is being created to come into effect once the current surge in cases ebbs, and the country also recently relaxed its isolation rules. But Madrid’s push for Omicron to be treated more like the flu has been criticized by some doctors and professional associations, as well as by the European Medicines Agency, who say the virus is still behaving as a pandemic.
In France, infections are still trending upward, with nearly 300,000 newly reported coronavirus cases a day this week, almost six times as many as a month ago. But President Emmanuel Macron, who is facing a presidential election in April, has opted to keep minimal restrictions in place and focused instead on urging the French to get vaccinated.
Mr. Macron’s government has rejected accusations that it has given up on reducing the number of cases, including in schools, which faced widespread strikes on Thursday by teachers concerned with classroom safety.
Mr. Véran, the French health minister, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, said the authorities were keeping a close eye on data from Britain to ascertain whether France was nearing its own peak.
Germany is several weeks behind some of its European neighbors in confronting an uptick in infections. It reported 80,430 new cases on Tuesday, breaking a record set in November. But independent scientific experts have held off advising the government to impose new restrictions despite widespread agreement that infection numbers would continue to rise.
Christian Drosten, the country’s most famous virologist, noted that Germany would most likely eventually have to move to treating the virus as endemic.
“Let’s put it this way: We shouldn’t open the gate completely,” he said last week in a podcast interview. “But in some areas, we have to open the door to the virus a bit.”
The latest Covid data in the U.S. As the Omicron surge caused case counts to reach record highs and hospitalizations to surpass last winter’s peak, here’s what the data suggests about the variant’s potential toll. Reports of falling infection rates in parts of the U.S., meanwhile, hint that a national peak may be approaching.
The U.S. Covid response. President Biden announced that the U.S. government would deploy military personnel to help overwhelmed hospitals and buy 500 million more tests for distribution to Americans, doubling its previous purchase. Americans will be able to order free rapid tests online beginning Jan. 15.
Around the world. Some European countries have changed their approach to the virus to more closely align with how they handle the flu. Public health experts say the shift might be premature. Outbreaks in China weeks ahead of the Winter Olympics underscored the challenges of holding the Games while sticking to a “zero Covid” policy.
Staying safe. Worried about spreading Covid? Keep yourself and others safe by following some basic guidance on when to test and how to use at-home virus tests (if you can find them). Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
Italy, too, is grappling with some of the highest daily infection rates since early in the pandemic. But in recent weeks, it has tightened restrictions, making vaccines mandatory for those 50 and over, including requiring a health pass to use public transportation.
A spokesman for the Italian Health Ministry said that the country was “still in a delicate phase,” and that the recent daily surges in cases continued to put pressure on intensive care units. Italian scientists have tended to agree that it is too early to declare the situation endemic, even if the time had come “to start thinking about the new normal” of coexisting with the virus, said Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist at the University of Milan.
That kind of caution is evident among a wide array of health professionals and researchers across Europe, some of whom issued a plea this week in The British Medical Journal for better coordination in approaching the pandemic. They argued that there was still an urgent need to “reduce infections to avoid overwhelming health systems and protect public life and the economy.”
“Even under the most optimistic assumptions,” they wrote, “letting Omicron run unfettered risks potentially devastating consequences.”
In England, hospitalizations are still very high in some areas, particularly in the northeast, and illness among health care workers is still straining the system.
England needs to take a “thoughtful, managed approach” to the pandemic, “while thinking about what our new normal will look like,” said Saffron Cordery, the deputy chief executive for N.H.S. Providers, the membership organization for England’s health staff.
But, she added, it was clear that the country had started to develop a pattern of living through several waves of the virus. With much uncertainty still ahead, she said it would be misguided to think of this moment as an inflection point.
“Rather than being a 100-meter straight-line sprint down to the finish line of Covid,” she explained, “it’s more of a longer-term cross-country run through all sorts of different terrains before we get to that destination.”
Elisabetta Povoledo contributed reporting from Rome, Christopher F. Schuetze from Berlin and Aurelien Breeden from Paris. Raphael Minder also contributed reporting.
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Business

Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits

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Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.

Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.

Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!

The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:

1. Supports gadget

Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.

2. Advances Glowing Skin

Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.

3. Fortifies Bones

Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.

4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)

These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.

5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke

Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

6. Further develops the natural framework Health

Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.

7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign

Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.

Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.

According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.

8. Advances Healthy Heart

To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.

9. Forestalls devolution

Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.

10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform

Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.

11. Palatable Anti-Aging

Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.

12. Advances Weight Loss

Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.

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