The COVID-19 pandemic is ever so gradually transforming into an endemic illness, the major risks of which still mainly fall on seniors.
Here is the long-term view of cases (dotted line) and deaths (solid line) in the US:
While cases are similar to the peaks of 2020, but far below those of 2021, deaths are lower than at any point except for June and July last summer.
Similarly, hospitalizations remain lower than at any point except several months during summer 2020 and 2021:
Focusing on the last 3 months, cases have been generally unchanged in the range of 100-110,000 for the past month, and deaths have varied between 250-330 for the past 1.5 months (the several gaps higher in deaths are due to periodic data dumps by North Carolina that can be ignored):
Essentially, both cases and deaths have plateaued at current levels, despite the changing landscape for variants, as Ba.2.12.1 replaced Ba.2, and now Ba.4&5 are increasing.
Here is the latest from Biobot, which tracks wastewater, an early warning system:
“Real” cases are down sharply in the Northeast, where Ba.2.12.1 was most prevalent, and slightly down in the Midwest and West, but rising again slightly in the Midwest.
We should know within a week or two whether the emergence of Ba.4&5 as the dominant strain is going to create any renewed wave or not. So far, very preliminarily, the answer is “not.”