The first coronavirus case in North America was discovered in January 2020 and within a month the first known cases of community spread appeared.
By mid-March, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and four U.S. territories had reported cases of COVID-19.
And as we are all too familiar with, the next nine months consisted of cases ramping up more and more as economies closed and hospitals became overwhelmed.
But now as of late January 2021 it looks like we are likely over the worst of the worst.
In other words, we have probably hit the peak and are now on the way down, hopefully at a fast rate with vaccine distribution and increased immunity among those previously infected.
Take a look at the graph from CNN that shows the seven day moving average for coronavirus cases.
We are clearly on a downward trend after peaking in the middle of January.
Although there are still a large number of cases happening every day, the sight of that graph dropping steeply is quite beautiful. We are now at a drop of more than 33% from the peak.
The number of hospitalizations are also dipping at what looks like a similar trend.
Hospitals getting overwhelmed has always been one of the biggest concerns and one of the main reasons for lockdowns so it is extremely encouraging to also see the graph dropping.
The deaths look like they are still on a bit of an upswing or at least plateauing but that is expected because the figures related to deaths always lag behind.
(It could take weeks for the deaths to catch up to the trends for the cases.)
Even though this is still a bit of a somber time because January was the country’s deadliest month of the pandemic, it’s hard to not look at these graphs and start to be encouraged about what is around the corner.
It’s still possible that an additional surge could appear, especially with the multiple variants of strains that have been discovered in the US.
However, it appears that the vaccines are effective against these strains.
As CNN noted:
“Evidence indicates the effectiveness of vaccine-induced antibodies might be diminished against the mutant first seen in South Africa, but ‘it’s still well within the cushion-range of being an effective vaccine,’ Fauci said.
Moderna and Pfizer both say experiments indicate their vaccines will protect people against the new variants. And even though it believes its current two-dose vaccine will be effective, Moderna said it would develop a potential booster shot against this variant, just to be safe.”
So while it is too early to let our guard down now, I think we will really start to see the light at the end of the tunnel beginning next month and especially in March.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.