BELatina’s Weekend Recap: Omicron, Betty White, Colorado Wildfire, And More

Weekend Recap Betty White BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of belatina.com

Happy New Year, BELatina News readers!

By now, we’re all a little nervous about what 2022 might bring — after all, we are in the third season of the pandemic. However, our tradition of bringing you news from the weekend continues.

From the alarming wave of cases of the new Omicron variant to the swearing-in of Eric Adams as mayor of New York, here are the top stories you need to know to start your week.

Wave of COVID Cases Puts Puerto Rico on Alert

Puerto Rico COVID BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of cfr.org

While the Omicron variant has besieged the entire country, it is especially worrisome in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory already overwhelmed by government bankruptcy, an exodus of health professionals, and a fragile health care system. Officials imposed a new wave of tough restrictions on travelers and diners in hopes of staving off the new wave of cases.

COVID-19 Cases in the US are Currently  Being Led by Young Adults and Teenagers 

Young Adults and Teenagers COVID cases BELatina Latinx

As the US is seeing record numbers of daily coronavirus cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, public health authorities nationwide have said that teens and younger adults are helping fuel this increase.

The uptick in Covid-19 among the under-50s coincides with a surge in cases among young children – and a troubling increase in pediatric hospitalizations.

The US seven-day average for pediatric hospitalizations increased 58%, to 334, between 21 December and 27 December. The increase in hospitalizations for all age groups was about 19%. Less than 25% of US children are vaccinated, Reuters reported.

Health and Less Family Toxicity Are Latinos’ Resolutions for 2022

Health and Less Family Toxicity Are Latinos’ Resolutions for 2022 BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Salud America.

Latinos in the United States have as a priority for 2022 to maintain or improve their physical health and rebuild or stabilize their family and couple relationships, above other issues such as finances and mental health, according to a national study released by Lifeway Research.

The survey, based on interviews with just over 1,000 people conducted last September, indicates that Hispanics (especially those who profess Catholicism) are the group that most emphasizes maintaining their health (48% vs. 40% of non-Hispanics), as well as restoring or mending relationships with close family members (30% vs. 23%).

National Emergency in Wake of Colorado Wildfire

Colorado Wildfire BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of kxan.com

Three people are missing and feared dead after a wind-stoked wildfire roared through two towns in Boulder County, Colorado, prompting thousands of evacuations and destroying nearly 1,000 homes, authorities said on Saturday.

Officials initially said there were no reports of fatalities or missing residents following the rare urban wildfire that erupted Thursday morning on the northern outskirts of the Denver metropolitan area.

Wind gusts of more than 100mph (160km/h) pushed flames eastward into the towns of Superior and Louisville, prompting the evacuation of both communities. In about two hours, the fire had scorched 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares), officials said.

Latino Truck Driver Rogel Aguilera Mederos’ Sentence Reduced

Rogel Aguilera Mederos sentence BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the Denver Channel.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has commuted the sentence of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos to 10 years with eligibility for parole in five. The 26-year-old was originally given a 110-year sentence for a 2019 crash that killed four people but had his sentence reduced after a public outcry over Colorado’s mandatory sentencing laws. 

Betty White Dies at 99 and the World Loses an Icon

Actress Betty White poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on June 9, 2010.
Photo courtesy of the Toronto Star.

Betty White, an Emmy Award-winning comic actress who was best known for playing a man-hungry TV hostess on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s and a ditsy widow on “The Golden Girls” in the 1980s, died at her home overnight in Los Angeles. She died less than three weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday.

The U.S. Begins the Year With Eyes on Georgia Gubernatorial Race

Georgia Gubernatorial Race BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Already a battleground at the presidential level, Georgia will be the scene of intense Republican primary showdowns for both governor and secretary of state, followed by general election contests in which Democrats — led by Senator Raphael Warnock, who is seeking a full term, and Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race to Rep. Gov. Brian Kemp and announced another bid last week — hope to keep the state a bluer tint of purple.

Eric Adams Sworn In As New York’s Second Black Mayor

Eric Adams BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Eric Leroy Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City early Saturday in a festive but pared-down Times Square ceremony. Adams, 61, the son of a house cleaner who was a New York City police captain before entering politics, has called himself “the future of the Democratic Party,” and pledged to address longstanding inequities as the city’s “first blue-collar mayor,” while simultaneously embracing the business community.