My cold-or-whatever has calmed down, from a thundering sinus waterfall (well, not water, but let's stay with the Niagara imagery in lieu of anything more accurate, because ew) to a slightly stuffy nose, from headachy dizziness to the just the usual. I think I'll avoid grocery shopping for a day or two, because who wants to sneeze in a mask, to the alarm of those around you and your own, well, once again, ew.
Your cold? That's your own lookout, though I will point out that Winter has never been a great time to go kissing strangers, long before the pandemic. Eat right, wash your hands, mask up indoors away from home, don't go crowding indoors with strangers for extended periods of time, you know the drill.
The world's? Hey, let's talk. Omicron is, as I predicted, here and growing. If you took the other side of that bet, you should not play cards or dice for money: it was inevitable.
Omicron may -- may -- be milder. Optimists have been claiming that all such viruses "evolve to become less deadly" but that ain't necessarily so (as the eminent Dr. Gershwin tells us). There's some pressure on them to become more transmissible, especially as we do things that reduce transmission -- and a virus that kills a large proportion of the host population quickly is not very effectively transmissible, no matter how infectious it is. (The horrible truth is that this is what has, so far, kept dire things like ebola in check: they're too deadly to get far.) But a virus that makes a lot of people fairly sick for a longer period of time while striking down a few can circulate for a long time -- smallpox and polio being good examples, deadly but not universally so and never what any of us would call mild. The data on Omicron so far comes from populations with relatively high rates of vaccination; it may only be milder for vaccinated people. We'll know in a couple of weeks. Even a "mild" version is still a worry if you have risk factors like being elderly, immune system problems, heart or lung issues, are very overweight and so on. We've all gotten this far, so keep on keeping on. (I'd tell you to get vaccinated but by now if you want one, you know where to get it.)
There's still the occasional complaint (mostly from pundits who ought to know better) that the U. S. doesn't do enough checking on which variants are circulating here. I don't know if we can; this country has the third-largest population in the world. Just the approximate two-thirds share of Americans who are vaccinated is more people than any other country on Earth except four or five, and the unvaccinated by themselves are more people than all but nine other countries: in this, as in many other things, there are so many of us that gathering really detailed data is a staggering task.
Getting through this is a less staggering effort. It's the same slog, and with the observed rate of spread, it'll probably peak more quickly than earlier waves. Be prepared, and don't lose hope.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
2 years ago