Recent decrease in COVID cases brings optimism for unemployed

Many hospitals across the state and in Central Texas are now reporting a decrease in Omicron...
Many hospitals across the state and in Central Texas are now reporting a decrease in Omicron cases, helping inspire many unemployed to find work.(WBAY)
Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Many hospitals across the state and in Central Texas are now reporting a decrease in Omicron cases, helping inspire many unemployed to find work.

According to the state, this week, the number of Texans in the hospital with COVID-19 was 11,997. This is the lowest number the state has seen in nearly three weeks.

Psychology Professor Sam Fiala with Texas A&M Central Texas the recent decrease is an encouraging sign for many to get back to work.

“I do think there’s budding optimism born out of resilience,” he said.

“At one point, most people have been thinking, ‘Oh, my God, COVID’s gonna kill me,’ but now, for those of us that don’t have any additional health challenges or are immune compromised are thinking, alright, I can survive this, if they’ve gotten vaccinated.”

This news comes as the labor department is reporting more than 467,000 new jobs were created last month and less Americans are applying for unemployment aid.

Texas A&M Central Texas Economist Professor Rob Tennant says while these are positive signs, there’s still more room for economic growth.

“There was 3.6 million Americans that missed work in January due to COVID, and 6 million jobs were lost because businesses had to close for the pandemic or closed permanently,” he said.

“So, it’s mixed data even at this point.”

Regardless of the correlation between lower COVID cases and more people applying for jobs, Dr. John Myers with Baylor Scott & White says what’s most important is continuing the push for vaccines and social distancing, no matter how tempting it is to let our guard down.

“Most likely, there will be another surge at some point,” he said.

“However, if we can blunt it, decrease the severity of it, then all of us will come out on the other side much better off than if we do nothing.”

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