A few predictions about Covid-19, from what seems to be the "middle" of the Omicron Wave, and yes, if you are somehow reading this with a time machine from 2015 "Omicron Wave" sounds like a villain's attack in an entry level anime. I am writing down these thoughts mostly to keep myself honest, so come July, I can see if I was right. Predictions tend to shift with our memory if we don't write them down.
Right now, infections have peaked, and are going down. "Going down" is a relative term, as they are still at a plateau that is high above what has been seen so far. Cases have been above an average of a half million per day since January 4, 2022. The physical location that is the center of the pandemic is also shifting, and it might take a while for it to hit all areas of the country. Significantly, the Omicron wave first hit New York, and it is still unclear what will happen once it hits other parts of the country with lower vaccination rates. As predicted, Omicron has been "more mild" than previous variants, but because it is also much more contagious, the daily average rate of death is now higher than it has been since last winter, over the peak of the Delta Variant in the autumn. Currently, 2500 people on average are recorded as dying every day, and it looks like that could go up. The only reason that this is not a fact that has shaken life to its core is because after two years, people are numb with fatigue.
One thing I believe is that, if the pandemic would have been contained in the first month and 8,000 people had died---less than 1% of the current number of deaths, there would be a national memorial being built right now with each one of their names enscribed.
But for all of that, in the short term, over the next three months, there will be good news. Because Omicron is on the way to infecting everyone, and many people in the United States are triple-vaccinated (I myself have had three shots, and I believe I have had Covid-19 twice), by the time this wave, and winter weather ends, there will be no one left to infect. By April or May, things will start to look in the clear.
But that itself will make people realize how bad the situation is. Have you ever been in a situation--- a burning house, a car crash, a parent with a medical emergency --- and as soon as you escaped the house, walked away from the car crash, got your parent to the hospital--- you realized just how much was going to change. And that is where we are. Right now, in the middle of the emergency, our standards have changed so much that the fact that this is less serious than the Black Death is seen as a sign we are winning. But as the immediate death toll fades away, we will start to listen to people's personal stories again. Stories like "I had to quit my job because my parent has long Covid and I have to take care of them" or "My teenager's only symptoms were a runny nose and fever, but then they developed asthma months later, and now they can't go to college because they missed most of their senior year". I am not a doctor, so I don't know exactly how these will present themselves, but the medical and social cost of the disease will become more apparent, bit by bit, as the pandemic fades.
In addition, the inflation and labor shortages that have been a problem will peak sometime in the late spring and early summer. (Or at least become apparent then). There was a wave of well-publicized airline groundings around New York City a month ago, but it is not clear just how many factories, workshops, warehouses, docks, etc. are having issues with employees not being able to work. Some of those things are going to slowly work (or rather, not work) their way through the supply chain. A lot of this depends on how China deals with the Omicron wave. And other countries as well. But given what we have seen so far, it seems there will be supply problems across the economy in the next few months.
And what will happen after the Northern Hemisphere summer? What will happen after a July when we seem to be in the clear? That is beyond what I can predict right now, and even beyond what most scientists can predict. It is quite possible that Covid-19 just becomes a seasonal endemic illness that most people are immune to. But there is a small probability that it will be continuing to pop up in weird places, with SCP style symptoms. Two years from now, could people in hazmat bunny suits be going into shopping malls where every single person died in a one hour period, bleeding out of their eyeballs? Without getting too grizzly, I believe that Covid-19 might reappear in brief, deadly bursts for years to come. I don't think it is possible, but after the immediate trajectory of the pandemic ends with a "breathing space" this summer, no one knows what will happen next.