Humanity has survived past pandemics and plagues. COVID may not disappear entirely but there is increasing evidence that we can peacefully co-exist with COVID. The Omicron variation may be how we make peace with Coronavirus. I am calculating that COVID will be in our review mirror by April. (Note: I am not a scientist, doctor or an epidemiologist. I am just some guy who reads reports, analyzes data, draws conclusions and makes projections).
The United States is averaging more than 300,000 new COVID cases a day for the first time in the pandemic. Hospitalizations are growing at a much slower rate than cases. As you can see in the New York Time chart below, the daily average of reported cases are up 204% over the past two weeks. During the same time period, the daily average of deaths are down 3%.
Science Direct reported that "[A]n extremely high number of undetected COVID-19 cases was displayed in France, the United States, Italy and Spain. For these countries, our findings indicate a detection rate of only 1–2% of total actual COVID-19 cases."
If that underreporting estimate is correct, with 300,000 reported cases daily, there would be an estimated actual 1,500,000 actual cases per day. That's based on their more conservative two percent estimate.
The US population is 329,500,000. 38% of our population is not fully vaccinated which works out to 125,210,000 people. At a rate of 1,500,000 COVID cases per day (and that number is probably growing exponentially) within three months our entire population will either be fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and/or have developed some immunity by being infected with COVID. Additionally, more than 825,000 dead people will no longer be spreading COVID.
South Africa was very early in detecting Omicron. Of countries that have reported at least ten COVID cases per day, South Africa, and neighboring Eswatini and Zimbabwe are showing the sharpest drop of daily COVID cases. Their case rates are down 58%, 60% and 75% respectively. Between 21% and 27% of these populations are fully vaccinated.
The South African government said Thursday that data from its health department suggested that the country had passed its Omicron peak without a major spike in deaths, offering cautious hope to other countries grappling with the variant.