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Mysterious Two Month Covid Surges

"Covid is once again in retreat" wrote David Leonhardt in the New York Times on Oct 4th.  He wrote several NYT articles in the last few months about a 2 month Covid surge cycle that began early in the pandemic.  The number of cases rise quickly over 2 months and then decrease over two months.  It was observed several times here and in other countries globally.  A surge of Covid cases began in our Southern States this June and began receding there in August.  It then began to spread more broadly in other states in July and cases now decreased 35% since Sept 1st. One Hypothesis: the virus needs 2 months to circulate through an average-size community and then moves on to other susceptible people.  

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Epidemiologists don't understand why this two month pattern has occurred in different countries and at different times. I listen to Michael Osterholm's podcasts and he regularly says that we need humility to follow the SARS-CoV-19 virus and are just following its behavior, and learning from it. It doesn't appear to be due to laxness in mitigation factors.  Another possibility is a change in human behavior, i.e. people take fewer risks for infections once there is a rapid increase in case numbers.  The two month cycles also occur during different seasons.  There is no guarantee that the two month cycles will continue - vaccinations are continuing which will decrease the infections and at any time another variant can appear and it may not be as susceptible to our vaccines.  Hopefully as vaccinations continue to increase based on mandates, any two month surge in the future will have many fewer cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.  

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