The U.S. is now 52% below the 9/1/2021 peak of the Delta wave, with 24.6 new cases per 100K per day.
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 10/19/2021, from https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data.” The NY Times U.S. tracking page may be found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html.
The only indication that there might be a generalized winter wave this year is the stubbornly high case rates in a handful of northern states. If you look at the entire pandemic, Alaska remains far outside the norm, and Montana and Idaho are just starting to appear above the bulk of the states.
In any case, it’s clear that whatever happens this winter is going to be different from what happened last winter. Below are the first and second years of the pandemic. I find it tough to visualize the red curve (second year) suddenly retracing the blue curve (first year).
Maybe this all ends with a whimper instead of a bang. The overall immunity level is high enough to suppress the most rapid spread of disease. But not enough to take it out of circulation entirely, yet, thanks to the segment of the population that is unvaccinated but hasn’t yet had it. And between the two of those, we’ll just prolong this pandemic for some time yet.
But, in truth, I have no clue what’s going to happen next. And my guess is that nobody else really does, either.