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The View is kicking off 2022 on an inauspicious note. On Monday morning, the daytime staple returned from its holiday hiatus to a virtual format, with Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, and Ana Navarro calling in from home amid the Omicron surge. Whoopi Goldberg was notably absent, and Behar quickly revealed that the longtime moderator has tested positive for COVID-19. Whoopi, who is vaccinated and boosted, is expected to return next week after recovering from her "very, very mild" symptoms.
ABC has been teasing The View's "first live show of 2022" for the past few days, but given the Omicron surge in New York City, the network opted to keep its co-hosts at home out of an abundance of caution. "As you can see, we're back in boxes and doing the show remotely. Hopefully, for just a week," said Behar at the top of the show. "I'm praying that it's just a week, but you never know, because this Omicron thing is all over the place."
As the ladies revealed, ABC made the correct call: over The View's two-week hiatus, Whoopi, Hostin, Hostin's mother, Haines' husband, and Navarro's father all contracted the virus. Luckily, everyone seems to be doing fine, though Hostin revealed she had to spend Christmas and New Year's alone, isolated from her family.
HOW COVID HIT HOME OVER THE HOLIDAYS: @JoyVBehar, @sarahaines, @sunny Hostin, and @ananavarro share how COVID-19 and the omicron variant surge impacted their holidays. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/bGzRpr6hCC— The View (@TheView) January 3, 2022
Navarro's appearance on the show was her first since her mother, Violeta, passed away in mid-December, and she spent a few minutes reflecting on the past few weeks. "My family has been grieving for months, expecting this, but hoping against hope for a miracle. We didn't get that miracle," said the guest co-host. "I think I was ready in my head, but not ready in my heart. I'm not sure any of us are ever ready to lose a parent. I'm sad, I'm heartbroken."
.@ananavarro remembers her mother, Violeta Navarro, who passed away before Christmas: “I’m heartbroken.”— The View (@TheView) January 3, 2022
“We found a picture of her dressed as an angel, and so I took it as a sign that I have a guardian angel in heaven now.” https://t.co/cVclFZyKV0 pic.twitter.com/Xim5op29L2
Later in the episode, the co-hosts discussed Republicans slamming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's trip to Florida and interviewed U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. For his part, Murthy said that Americans who are vaccinated, boosted, and wearing a well-fitted mask have "a high degree of protection" from COVID-19 and should feel comfortable going about daily activities. "The bottom line is, we have more tools to live our lives now than we did last year," he said.
Get well soon, Whoopi! Here's hoping we see you, and the rest of the co-hosts, back at the table next week.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.