When the Next Covid Wave Breaks, the US Won’t Be Able to Spot It

Lines on charts can tell you something about the state of the Covid pandemic in the United States. Deaths: declining, even with the looming milestone of the millionth US death. Hospitalizations: at historically low levels, but ticking back up. Cases: rising, particularly in the Northeast, reliably a harbinger for the rest of the country.

What you can’t do with those lines is use them to map your way forward—because at this point, we’ve reached the choose-your-own-adventure stage of the pandemic. Most mask mandates have been lifted. Testing programs have been cut back, here and in other countries. Congress has declined to fund big chunks of the White House’s Covid agenda.

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