In what has become an unmistakable trend globally, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be loosening its grip around the world. In the U.S. alone, cases are down 30% from last week.
For the first time since November of 2020, America is averaging fewer than 150,000 infections a day from the virus, and statistics from Johns Hopkins reveal that the country's 7-day rolling average is showing a steep 40% decline.
The marked decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths does not appear directly linked to vaccine administration. Only about 8% of the U.S. population has received the vaccine, and most of those are healthcare workers.
That means there is a natural easing of the once-aggressive transmission rate that struck the nation over the holiday season. Coupled with the continued vaccine distribution, experts remain hopeful that the virus can be effectively mitigated as winter gives way to spring.
The same seems to be true globally as well, with cases also down 30%.
"The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it has also seen declining new infections globally over the past three weeks. Our World in Data graphs show the daily infection rate has fallen by 30 percent in that period," read a report in the Daily Mail.
Several health experts are postulating that the decrease in transmission may also be the result of far more people having had the virus than previously thought. If that number is underestimated by a factor of millions, for instance, entire regions could be approaching herd immunity much quicker than anticipated.
Still, officials are concerned that the good news could provoke irresponsible or careless behavior. Continuing to follow mitigating strategies is the quickest way to perpetuate the encouraging trends, they say.