January was the cruellest month. Australians emerged from their long lockdowns only to be confronted with the Omicron variant that largely evaded the vaccinal antibodies they’d acquired over the previous ten months. On the worst day, there were more than 105,000 cases and by the end of the month, there had been 15,993 deaths from all causes, 3,053 deaths above the historical average, an excess mortality rate of 23.5
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