About 5 weeks into a combination of thoughtfully reduced mitigation restrictions and riots, cases are rising in the USA. Deaths, in some places, are climbing but overall they continue to fall, from 2200/day at the peak in mid-April to 650 today. Cases are not rising geometrically, as they did in late Mar and early Apr. Indeed, new cases declined slightly in May, and rose slightly in Jun. Alarmist headlines about record numbers of cases are correct, ignore the fact that new cases have been “largely flat” for about 3 months.
Case are likely rising due to a combination of dramatically increased testing, and genuine increases in infection rates due to relaxed mitigations.
Cases are a leading indicator, and deaths may follow.
It’s also possible that new cases are being found in the younger, healthier population, and that deaths will not track cases.
“Phased openings” are being followed in most states. The actual goals are unclear.
Per Washington State’s plan, each phase has entrance criteria, which track things like infection rates and hospital utilization, and a prescribed reduction of mitigations. People are allowed to gather in larger groups, sit closer together etc.
The plan seems to be that as the pandemic subsides, we gradually return to more risky behaviors.
Assuming that it was the mitigations that arrested the geometric rise, it is unclear why returning to more risky behaviors will not restart it. If it wasn’t, perhaps we didn’t need them in the first place.
Perhaps the plan is to see-saw back on forth between phases for years.
Perhaps we have no idea what we are doing.