World health officials are offering hope that the ebbing of the omicron wave could usher in a new, more manageable phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They warn of difficult weeks ahead and the possibility of another, more dangerous variant arising. But the overall tone is hopeful. U.S. cases have crested and are dropping rapidly, following a pattern seen in Britain and South Africa.
Researchers project a period of low spread in many countries by the end of March.
Rosy predictions have crumbled before, but this time they are backed by what could be called omicron’s silver lining: The highly contagious variant will leave behind extremely high levels of immunity.