A year after the pandemic shut down the country, a growing number of infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, public health officials and others have started to entertain a notion that has long seemed out-of-reach: The worst of the pandemic may be over for the United States.
No one thinks that’s guaranteed by any means. There are many ways the pandemic could resurge. But many say it’s becoming increasingly possible that the end may finally be in sight.
Even experts who have raised the alarm about the severity of the COVID crisis nonstop for over a year are optimistic.
“The worst may in fact be behind us,” says Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown School of Public Health, one of more than 20 people interviewed by NPR for this story. “To be able to say: ‘I think, [I’m] cautiously, optimistic that the worst may be behind us?’ Boy, that that does feel really good.”