The number of new daily Covid-19 cases has plunged 57 percent since peaking on Sept. 1. Almost as encouraging as the magnitude of the decline is its breadth: Cases have been declining in every region.
When the Delta variant began spreading this summer, many people worried that it was both much more contagious than earlier versions of the virus and much more severe. Only one of those two fears seems to be true.
Delta is clearly more contagious, which is the main reason that every metric of the pandemic — cases, hospitalizations and deaths — soared this summer. But a typical Covid case during the Delta wave was about as severe as a typical case during the earlier stages of the pandemic. During the wave in late 2020 and early this year, about 1.2 percent of positive cases led to death; during the Delta wave, the share was 1.1 percent.
“Delta may be a little more serious, but not materially so,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco told the NYT.