Covid infections have risen to unprecedented levels in recent weeks because of the Omicron variant.
But, as early evidence suggested it would, this variant is causing milder illness, for now at least.
A fall in the proportion of detected cases ending in hospital, shows this. It is now five times lower than it was a year ago.
This is largely thanks to a huge amount of immunity that has built up across the population either through vaccination or infection.
And with better treatments for those who do become ill, one way or another everyone is less at risk to some degree than they were previously.
Another sign of how Covid has changed is that the patients who are being treated for it are not getting as sick.
There have been early reports that patients are not spending as long in hospital and the numbers needing critical care has hardly changed. All this puts the NHS in a stronger position to cope.
What does seem likely is the wave will come and go pretty quickly – even in other parts of the UK the restrictions in place are expected to only have a limited impact.
And once it does, experts believe the extra immunity acquired will mean the population will be even better protected for the future.
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