“We don’t expect things are going to turn around in a few days to a week. It likely will take much longer than that, but that’s unpredictable,” said the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

After struggling with the coronavirus for far too long, the world understands all too well Belgium’s word of the year, “knaldrang!” — the urge to party, the need to let loose. Yet as New Year celebrations approach, the omicron variant is casting more gloom, AP reports.

Several countries are considering more restrictions to add to the patchwork of lockdowns and other measures already in place around Europe, and the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned on Monday that with the rise of the highly contagious omicron, “it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

“We don’t expect things are going to turn around in a few days to a week. It likely will take much longer than that, but that’s unpredictable,” he said on ABC. It is the unpredictability that is keeping governments second-guessing and picking widely varying strategies to beat back the pandemic.

The French government and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were assessing the latest data and the need to counter the record numbers of COVID-19 infections with more measures to keep people apart at a time when they so dearly want to be together.

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