Recently, several researchers predicted that the lowest points of the COVID pandemic may be over by now. The group of researchers, who regularly advise the CDC, noted that a high likelihood of confirmed COVID cases declining into next spring.
Per the researchers, the pandemic appears to be close to peaking, assuming it has not already peaked, and they anticipate a decline in COVID cases over the course of the fall and winter.
In addition, the Delta variant surge also appears to be approaching its peak, per the predictions from the researchers, who do not anticipate a “significant winter surge.”
A recent NPR report detailed the origins of these predictions, namely via the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling hub, which “combined nine different mathematical models from different research groups to get an outlook for the pandemic for the next six months.”
According to Justin Lessler, who assists with running the hub, it is important “to be really cautious about too much optimism,” although he believes that that “the trajectory is towards improvement” for the vast majority of the nation.
However, the researchers also noted that current COVID conditions may worsen until the nation turns a corner officially, stressing the need for continuing mitigation protocols. However, a more favorable scenario very well may witness an enormous reduction in the total number of COVID cases in Spring 2022 compared to the present time.
In such a scenario, the NPR notes that COVID-related deaths would decrease from 1,500 per day to under 100 per day by March 2022. In addition, COVID infections are anticipated to fall from roughly 140,000 daily to 9,000 daily in the same time frame.
This situation would result in no winter surge, though “moderate” surges are highly plausible.
Lessler also added that inherent uncertainty within the models could lead to cases rising to as high as 232,000 daily before decreasing, though such an aggressive development is “unlikely.”
Lessler emphasized the importance of caution since “the virus has shown [the nation] time and time again that new variants,” as well as people “loosening up” on COVID restrictions “can lead things to come roaring back.”
“We have to be cautious because the virus has shown us time and time again that new variants or people loosening up on how careful they’re being can lead things to come roaring back,” Lessler added.
In addition, even if a variant more infectious than Delta were to arise in the next few months, the United States still remains likely to see an enormous reduction in daily confirmed cases by the spring, or just under 50,000 cases per day.
Lessler observes that many people fear the situation never “[getting] better” in light of the Delta variant, which is why they believe they should cease “worrying about it” and opt to “take risks” instead.
“But I think these projections show us there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Lessler added.
Lessler concluded by observing immunity is “the biggest driver,” which explains “really big Delta waves” that strongly affected susceptible people. However, as immunity grows amongst the general population, it will “eventually” win out.