COVID-19 trends

Daily COVID-19 cases reached an all-time high in February and then descended as rapidly as they had surged, with the Omicron variant in full swing. Mask rules were eased as the media featured reports of double-digit percentage decreases in infections and hospitalization, implying that Omicron infections may be less severe than with the previous Delta variant. Meanwhile, vaccination rates remained stalled in some recalcitrant states, and thoughts of a 4th booster program appeared. Who knows what evil still lurks in the heart of the virus?
Public health, in much of this country, is in crisis. Hospitals are overwhelmed and understaffed, vaccination is widely resisted, state governments present mixed messages -- and COVID-19 is out of control and headed for a 4th wave. The more-contagious Delta variant has been spreading rapidly and may challenge the efficacy of our vaccines. We address this situation with population-based statistics in two modes: progression over time and geographic variation.
After a short gestation period, COVID-19 vaccines arrived throughout the nation and became part of the daily scene. Questions about which vaccine to get have diminished replaced with concerns about who is getting shots and who is not. Here is what the latest statistics tell us.
June and July saw substantial changes in the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, essentially reflecting the competition between relief from vaccination and the spread of the more contagious delta variant of the virus. These changes varied by time and place; here we seek perspective by examining temporal trends in six regions of the US [1]
In March, the total number of COVID-19 infections paused their descent from the winter peak, and began to turn upward towards the start of another possible inflection point. Back then we wondered what lay ahead – and today we are still unsure.
COVID-19 frequently dominates the nightly news, and it’s always there in today’s daily life. Is the pandemic ebbing, or is it still menacing the careless? Charts, tables, and statistics dominate the discussion. Some emphasize counts, some quote short-term percentage changes like a 20% drop. Pictures and statistics tell stories, but with COVID-19, it depends on how you look at them.