Post #1401: COVID-19 trend to 1/13/2022: Maybe a week from the U.S. peak?

Posted on January 14, 2022


By my count, the U.S. now stands at 247 new COVID-19 cases per 100K per day, up less than 3% from yesterday, and up 33% over the past seven days.

Beneath the U.S. average is a spectrum of growth rates, from outright declines in new cases in the Northeast, to near-vertical growth in new cases in the Pacific region.  Regions are peaking in more-or-less the order that they started, which has been the norm for prior COVID-19 waves in the U.S.

Data source for this and other graphs of new case counts:  Calculated from The New York Times. (2021). Coronavirus (Covid-19) Data in the United States. Retrieved 1/14/2022, from”  The NY Times U.S. tracking page may be found at

I could once again show you the regions in turn, but they line up about as you’d expect, and about as I showed yesterday.  They appear to be entering into and breaking out of “vertical” (rapid) growth in the same order in which they started on the upward phase of their respective Omicron waves.

Which is just a way of saying that, as with past waves, it looks like the wave takes a more-or-less constant period of time.  Those who entered earlier are peaking earlier.

I don’t want to imply that we’re out of the woods yet.  We’re still at the point where just two states are below 100 new cases / 100K / day (Idaho and Maine).

That said, we’ve seen the U.K. peak, it looks like Canada has peaked.   So maybe it’s our turn.

There’s now enough “curve” in the U.S. line that I can sketch my best guess for a normal peak for the U.S.  I could toss some pseudo-science at you, regarding what sophisticated math your eye and brain are doing when you complete a curve like this.  But, to myself, I refer to this task as “art class”.  I’m just trying to complete the curve.

Above, I’ve sketched in the curve looking two weeks forward, in what now appears to me to be a “natural” shape for a COVID-19 peak.  To me, it looks like we’re about a week from the U.S. peak.   FWIW.   Though I should say that this hack worked pretty well the last time I tried it.

So now it’s time to do a bit of pondering of what happens after the Omicron peak.  I’ve done some of that now.  In the interest of keeping this upbeat, I’ll put all that in a separate out-of-sequence post (#1400).

The takeaways from this post, and prior posts on the U.S. hospital system, are that:

  1. It looks like the Omicron wave is following what we now view as a “normal” path.
  2. Based on that, we’re nearing the peak, and have passed the peak in some places.
  3. Owing to a combination of lower average case severity and considerable immunity within the population, it’s not going to overwhelm any significant portion of the U.S. hospital system, despite the extremely high case counts.