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I would like to see predictions (or just analysis) on what the "steady state" might look like given no new variant. At what level do cases/day stop dropping? I would find this important from a "what is my background risk likely to look like throughout the year" perspective, but also because it seems like an interesting modelling question.

My first take would be to look at late June 2021 (~3.5/100k/day, not adjusted for testing) as a baseline, but should we expect it to go even lower since we have high vaccination rates + more natural immunity in the population? Or higher since Omicron is more transmissible?

One way to firmly quantify this might be to pick 2 cases/day thresholds for a certain date and give probabilities for above and below those thresholds, conditional on there not being a new variant at >3% of cases. Or just have a distribution that reflects your expectations.

Where can I access this for my profile on Metaculus? I have everything unlocked but don't see it in the options.

This comment is intended more as a small aside rather than a sweeping comment, but for me personally the signal:noise ratio on these posts has gotten somewhat lower recently - still a much higher ratio than most sources.

I have been a consistent reader and found them extremely valuable. What I find valuable generally are the "status update" portions that contextualize changing cases/deaths/etc, the "evidence rundown" portions that discuss emerging evidence (such as the Long Covid section of this post), the specific predictions, and to some extent discussion of changing policy circumstances.

I generally don't find the discussion of egregious examples of policy gone awry (eg Djokovic, fake KN95s, etc), or even broader discussions of policy framing (France, Think of the Children) to be as useful. When they are, it's usually because they're attached to a specific piece of data or information on significant policy changes, but lately they seem to have been variations on a similar theme (bad epistemology and/or excessive restrictions) that doesn't add much post over post.

It may be that you view the repetition as valuable insofar as it convinces people that there is an issue! Just thought I'd note that I tend to start skimming to sections I find more useful.

Answer by Daniel S10

I'm interested in predictions for where in cases/day this rapid decline stops (or steadies out for the medium term). I think different underlying causes for the drop yield different answers.

If "we've reached a vax+infection herd immunity" is to be believed, then we'd expect cases to bottom out pretty low barring any new variants/immune escape yes?

Most other causes yield more depressing answers. If this is behavioral changes or lack of testing I'd expect very little in terms of getting to low absolute case levels. Seasonality perhaps?

The entire turnaround just seems very sharp, which leaves me confused (and looking for a better model). I'm not sure any of the offered explanations sound very convincing to me. This pattern occurring in places besides the UK seems to rule out region-specific explanations like "Freedom day". I think that case levels over the next couple weeks in the UK and other countries following similar trajectories should give some additional evidence?

I believe the anti-intimacy Olympic beds are not a thing - or at least, I've been convinced that it's just a strange bed design and not an anti-covid measure in itself: