The state of COVID in the U.S. in four charts

The data on hospitalizations, which can be more reliable than the cases data, is also consistent with it. The seven-day average of the number of hospitalized Americans peaked on Sept. 3 and has since fallen about 7 percent…

Covid’s two-month cycle is not a scientific law. There have been exceptions to it, and there will be more. Maybe those packed football games will cause new outbreaks that are not yet visible in the data. Or maybe the onset of colder weather or some mysterious force will lead case numbers to rebound in coming weeks. The pandemic has spent almost two years surprising people, often for the worse. As my colleague Apoorva Mandavilli has written, Covid has given everybody a crash course in scientific uncertainty.

For now, the best summary may be that Covid is both an unnecessarily bad crisis in the U.S. and one that appears to be slowly becoming a little less bad. If recent history repeats itself — a big if — U.S. cases will keep declining during the early autumn.