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Serious outbreaks of the coronavirus are tied to lockdowns and decreases in travel while recovery from the pandemic is tied to increased use of cars and airplanes. As a reuslt, the positive news resulted in a spike in oil prices. Futures of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for American oil, increased by 2.4 percent on Monday, exceeding $75 per barrel. Despite the positive developments, there are signs that the Omicron variant will remain a serious concern. Infections from the variant are already higher than they were at the height of the “delta variant” wave earlier in the year. Meanwhile, China, which responded to the pandemic in a manner that was widely lauded at the outset and has kept case rates remarkably low, tallied the highest number of coronavirus cases since January.