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No one knows what’s going to happen with COVID-19 right now. Here’s why

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 might have peaked, but it’s unclear what the future holds

SHARE No one knows what’s going to happen with COVID-19 right now. Here’s why
A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

The United States faces an unknown future when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic mostly due to the incoming variants, according to NBC News.

What’s going on?

The U.S. saw its hospitalizations start to drop after hitting a record high, according to NBC News. Other researchers suggest that coronavirus surge has peaked overall and the United States might be on the down turn, NPR reports.

But experts suggest the United States faces an unclear future about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic because of the incoming strains.

  • “There’s so much up in the air, and the new variants have thrown a huge monkey wrench into our ability to model things,” Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, a professor of medicine and director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told NBC News. “All of those things make the crystal ball very cloudy.”

Coronavirus projection modeler Alessandro Vespignani, director of Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute, told NBC News that the coronavirus variants can lead to more cases, which stresses the importance to maintain social distancing and get vaccinated.

  • “It’s a bit of a race against the emergence of new strains that are more transmissible,” Vespignani said. “If we roll out the vaccine fast enough and keep epidemic levels low, that will also slow down the variants and buy us more time.”

Is the worst over?

Experts recently told NPR that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic might be over.

  • “Yes, we have peaked in terms of cases,” said Ali Mokdad, who has been tracking the pandemic at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “We are coming down, slowly. This is very good news — very good news.”
  • “Based on current trends, the worst appears to be over,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We are headed to a better place.”