Welcome to 2022! It’s a relief to turn the page on 2021 and finally look forward to some exciting prospects and new adventures. While I have some specific milestones, the timeline remains unclear due to the continued COVID pandemic.

We are now in a significant surge with the US reporting several days of 500,000+ new cases. The new omicron virus variant is highly contagious but fortunately not as dangerous as the previous delta variant, which took a heavy toll last year. New studies indicate that omicron doesn’t infect the lungs, so hospitalizations are not expected to rise in proportion to the infection rate. This week South Africa (where omicron was first detected) reported that new infections are on the decline, so researchers in the US are expecting a similar fast climb (and fall) of infections with the peak hitting in the next 1-2 weeks.

Of course this has thrown my company’s return to office plans into question. We were expected to be on site starting January 10, but shortly before our December break they announced that this had “softened” in light of omicron and that we should follow the guidance of our managers. And since my boss was on vacation, I haven’t received any update. But I would be surprised if this date still holds given the rapid spread, and if for some reason it remains firm I’ll give immediate notice since I don’t plan to return to San Diego. And even if I were planning to relocate to San Diego and continue working, I wouldn’t be comfortable right now staying in AirBnBs, apartment hunting, furniture shopping, etc. and this would be an excessive ask from my company.

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