Speed Reads

cycles

The 'one big reason to think' COVID-19 cases could start to decline soon

Could the United States' latest COVID-19 surge have reached its peak?

That question was posed Wednesday by The New York Times' David Leonhardt and Ashley Wu, who in the Times morning newsletter pointed to a "regular — if mysterious — cycle" that COVID-19 cases have frequently followed since the start of the pandemic: surging for about two months and then beginning to decline. According to the Times, the number of daily new cases rose less in the last week than any week since June. And the two-month cycle that has occurred in numerous countries in the past is "one big reason to think that" this trend may continue "and that caseloads may even soon decline," the Times writes. 

As far as why COVID-19 surges seem to run out of gas after two months, experts aren't sure. "We still are really in the cave ages in terms of understanding how viruses emerge, how they spread, how they start and stop, why they do what they do," University of Minnesota epidemiologist Michael Osterholm saidThe Times also points out that it's not a sure thing that this two-month cycle will repeat in the U.S. with the Delta variant, as there have been exceptions to the trend, including in Brazil.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, previously predicted that "you're going to see the Delta wave course through probably between late September through October," but that "hopefully we'll be on the other side of it or coming on the other side of it sometime in November." Read more at The New York Times.