During the COVID-19 pandemic, new cases in the U.S. have repeatedly risen and dropped dramatically. In the UK, case rates are as high as 1 in 15 in January of 2022, with many infections asymptomatic or unreported. In the US, COVID-19’s prevalence is overloading hospitals and front-line workers. While waves of COVID-19 may be related to public health policy, travel, and international relations, variants likely play the pivotal role.
The first major spike in cases occurred during the rapid rise of Delta. The Delta variant was the most fit virus at the time, and quickly took over the world’s cases.
As Omicron has risen and peaked even faster. Again, while combinatorial, the variants appear to drive the waves drastically. The evolution of new variants will need to be monitored closely to alert the public quickly so measures to prevent these dangerous spikes can be put into place rapidly.