From Omicron chaos to reduced crowd size at New Year’s Eve celebrations, this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
OMICRON CHAOS LED TO TESTING DIFFICULTY
A surge in Omicron cases has made it very difficult to get tested, with lines forcing people to wait for hours just to find out if they’re positive with Covid-19. At-home testing also comes with its own problems. The tests’ effectiveness came into question this week as the highly transmissible virus is more difficult to detect.
Healthcare professionals recommend that individuals with symptoms who test negative should get a second test at a medical facility to confirm the result, but this too has led to issues once again.
According to President Joe Biden, the government plans on buying over 500 million at-home tests for Covid-19 to safely distribute nationally for those in need. The CDC also lowered the isolation period for those who test positive with no symptoms from 10 days to 5 days.
NEW YEAR’S EVE WELCOMED 2022
New Year’s Eve 2022 is here, with many cities forced to adjust celebrations due to the spread of Covid-19. Numerous countries around the globe reported a record-high number of new cases, with some in Europe reentering lockdown procedures.
Though studies have proven that the Omicron variant is less deadly, its rapid spread has made many uneasy, especially on one of the most crowded events of the year. The World Health Organization asked people worldwide to rethink their holiday plans to stay safe, though some cities, such as Sydney, Australia, are going on unchanged. In New York City, where the ball drops in Times Square, the city announced that it would allow limited capacity and scale back large events.
DENVER SHOOTING BELIEVED TO BE TARGETED ATTACK
Six people were killed, including the gunman, in a terrifying Denver shooting spree Monday night. As police chased the shooter, 47-year-old Lyndon James McLeod, across the city, the gunman targeted tattoo parlors across the city, killing three tattoo artists and injuring a fourth.
Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing owner Alicia Cardenas was killed along with Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, the wife of another Sol Tribe artist, as well as Lucky 13 Tattoo artist Danny Scofield, across town. Sarah Steck, a 28-year-old hotel clerk, and Michael Swinyard, 67, were also killed in the rampage. Authorities are still searching for a motive in the horrific event, but it is believed that the attacker knew his victims.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL FOUND GUILTY
A jury on Wednesday found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six counts in connection to sex trafficking minors with the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. She was also charged with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three counts of conspiracy.
The trial, which lasted over two weeks, featured testimony from four accusers of Maxwell’s sexual abuse, as well as personal accounts from former employees and houseworkers who described her close connection to Epstein’s affairs. Though yet to receive a sentence, Ghislaine faces up to 65 years in prison, which will likely last for the rest of her life.
BAD BUNNY CONCERT WAS A SUPER-SPREADER EVENT
A Bad Bunny concert in Puerto Rico became a super-spreader event when over 2,000 fans left testing positive for Covid-19. Though the rapper tried to host a safe environment for crowds of over 40,000 attendees, especially after the tragic incident of the Astroworld Music Festival, fans still reported waiting in lines for hours and fainting from overheating.
The concert greatly exacerbated Puerto Rico’s struggle with the Omicron variant, where the island is now reporting a daily average of over 5,148 new cases. Omicron has also totaled over 92% of the cases on the island, where the daily case average was just 100 two weeks prior.
KYRIE IRVING RETURNED TO THE NBA
Kyrie Irving, a former NBA champion and player on the Brooklyn Nets, made controversial headlines earlier in the year when he decided to sit out of the 2021-2022 season due to his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Now, due to virus’ resurgence, the point-guard is back with the team, training to play away games where the vaccine mandate isn’t in effect.
Many fans are happy to have the legendary player back, though some saw the movie as an odd, backward move for the team who once stood by the mandate to have all players vaccinated. Also this week, Golden Warriors’ star Steph Curry made NBA history again, passing Ray Allen’s 3-point total and becoming the first player to make 3,000 3-pointers.
JOHN MADDEN PASSED AWAY AT AGE 85
NFL Hall of Fame coach and broadcasting legend John Madden passed away this week at age 85, though no cause of death was reported at the time. Mourned by the league and fans, John Madden gained fame as a commentator and football analyst. But he also made a name for himself as a coach, with an extremely strong record.
John Madden was also the titular entity for the football Madden video game series, which has released entries yearly since 1988. Madden NFL 22, the latest entry, was just released this past August, with NFL legend and Super Bowl champion Tom Brady on the cover.
KIM KARDASHIAN SPOILED ‘SPIDER-MAN’
Leave it to the Kardashians to pull another blunder and anger fans, as Kim Kardashian accidentally spoiled Spider-Man: No Way Home for millions of Instagram followers. In the since-deleted Instagram story, Kim revealed some spicy cast details, posting photos as she watched the new Marvel film in her home theater.
Many fans who were waiting to see the film after Covid-19 fears died down were especially annoyed, calling out how they weren’t as fortunate to watch movies in a home theater. Kim quickly realized her mistake and deleted the story, though for many fans who were trying to avoid spoilers, the damage had already been done.
‘DON’T LOOK UP’ DIVIDED VIEWERS
Don’t Look Up, the new doomsday comedy written and directed by The Big Short‘s Adam McKay, divided viewers on Christmas Day despite its star-studded cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, and many more.
Depicting scientists who find out that an asteroid is heading toward Earth, McKay pokes fun at how the news media, politicians, and social media, would react to learning that the end of the world was fast approaching. While some critics found the satirical film hilarious, others were turned off by its uncanny parody of recent political events. The film is currently available to stream through Netflix.
‘INSECURE’ AIRED ITS FINAL EPISODE
The cast of HBO’s Insecure signed off for the series finale on Sunday, following five seasons and 44 episodes. Starting off as a Web series by writer Issa Rae titled Awkward Black Girl, Insecure evolved over the years and developed a massive fan base.
Fans tuning in for the highly emotional last episode with Issa received a lovely send-off, with the writer calling the series “a journey of growth.” Though finishing somewhat controversially, critics are loving and celebrating the final episode, as well as what Insecure did to help television shows with primarily all-Black casts.
Wishing all our readers a happy and healthy New Year!