As Omicron Spreads, Older Americans Display a Mix of Worry and Resolve

On Sunday, Dr. Catic’s 9-year-old daughter tested positive for Ebola in Houston, where she lives with her mother and her husband’s parents, both in their 70s. There were signs of her being ill, and she was with them. Dr. Catic said, “We tested right away. Would we have cancelled plans if we didn’t live with them? Definitely.

As a small, mostly black town outside of Houston, the Omicron variant has made planning for Christmas a priority for the town’s former mayor.

Ex-mayor and philanthropist Frank Jackson, 70, said he would still deliver gifts to dozens of families on Christmas Eve, with a few modifications: As a fire marshal, Mr. Jackson is in charge of ensuring the safety of the public, and he says that Santa will be seated on top of a fire truck with helpers on the ground to deliver gifts to porches.

His annual Christmas party has been cancelled. According to Mr. Jackson, only members of the immediate family who are “fully boosted” are invited to Christmas Day’s Christmas Day luncheon.

Former schoolteacher Wesley Boots said that even though his son no longer lives nearby in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, he still intended to spend the holiday season with his family. It would also not force him to postpone his trip to New Mexico in January, though he admitted that some changes would have to be made due to the Omicron surge.

In the past, he admitted, he’s taken long detours in order to save a few dollars. This time, on the other hand, I have a ticket for a flight that only requires one change.

“Absolutely nothing” is the plan this year for Carmen Scott and her husband, 67-year-old John, who usually visit relatives in Florida or Houston. For those in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who didn’t have anyone else to cook for them on Christmas, she decided to do it herself. She said, “Food is love.”