COVID case counts may be losing importance amid omicron

The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus case counts is raising alarm, but some experts believe the focus should instead be on COVID-19 hospital admissions. And those aren’t climbing as fast. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, said Sunday on ABC that with many infections causing few or no symptoms, "it is much more relevant to focus on the hospitalizations as opposed to the total number of cases." Other experts argue that case counts still have value. As the super-contagious omicron variant rages across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases per day have more than tripled over the past two weeks, reaching a record-shattering average of 480,000. Schools, hospitals and airlines are struggling as infected workers go into isolation.

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November

A record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November, a sign of confidence and more evidence that the U.S. job market is bouncing back strongly from last year's coronavirus recession. The Labor Department also reported Tuesday that employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, down from 11.1 million in October but still high by historical standards. Employers hired 6.7 million people in November, up from 6.5 million in October, the Labor Department reported Tuesday in its monthly Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.  Nick Bunker, research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab, noted that quits were high in the low-wage hotel and restaurant industries. “Lots of quits means stronger worker bargaining power which will likely feed into strong wage gains,'' he said. “Wage growth was very strong in 2021, and ... we might see more of the same in 2022.''

What will Silicon Valley learn from Holmes' conviction?

The fraud conviction of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes could offer Silicon Valley's culture of hubris and hype some valuable lessons. Will anyone in the tech industry actually take this moment to heart? Don't count on it. Holmes was found guilty on Monday of duping investors into believing that Theranos had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. She could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge, although legal experts say she is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence. Federal prosecutors depicted Holmes as a charlatan obsessed with fame and fortune. In seven days on the witness stand, she cast herself as a visionary trailblazer in male-dominated Silicon Valley who was emotionally and sexually abused by her former lover and business partner, Sunny Balwani.

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