Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Scientists say 'premature' to predict if there will be another major COVID-19 wave, but room for optimism

The coronavirus pandemic has been so unpredictable over the last couple of years that trying to decipher whether the recent Delta variant surge (which is now declining) will be the last of its size feels "bold" and "premature," Nicholas Reich, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told The Hill. He noted that new variants could pop up, and there are still questions about how long immunity from vaccination and prior infection last, leaving open the possibility for another intense period.

Sure, those are things to keep an eye on, David Dowdy, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist told The Hill, acknowledging that "anyone who says they can predict the future of the pandemic is probably lying to you." But there's also room for optimism, he argued. At least in the sense that "we will not see another massive wave the way that we have seen so far." One reason, Dowdy suggested, is that a new, vaccine-evasive variant is unlikely to emerge in the short-term because Delta has remained so dominant across the world nothing else has been able to gain a real foothold. Read more at The Hill.