For more than a year and a half, the news has been dominated by events related to COVID-19.
Since early 2020, the United States has seen the most positive tests overall.
It’s reported more than 45 million since the pandemic hit.
Daily case numbers have fluctuated wildly.
Last year they rose and then plateaued in the spring, rose and then plateaued in the summer.
But during the winter months of late 2020 and early 2021, American health officials reported their highest numbers of new cases, a daily average of more than 250,000 in early January according to the New York Times.
The numbers dropped significantly in the weeks and months after that.
And despite a slight rise in mid-April, new positive tests reached a low point by mid-June.
But then a new variant, a new strain of the disease arrived in America.
It’s called Delta.
And health officials say it was largely responsible for the next spike in COVID cases, which peaked at an average of more than 175,000 per day in mid-September.
That’s why the steady decrease that America has seen since then is both hopeful and concerning.
Hopeful because of the number of new cases is headed in the right direction, down.
Concerning, because the nation’s been here before.
And a new COVID strain that causes another spike in cases is still possible.
Again though, all this is only for the U.S.
On the other side of the Northern Hemisphere, Russia has seen a sharp climb in cases since last month.
It’s currently averaging more than 32,000 positive tests per day.
In an effort to keep the virus from spreading, the Russian capital of Moscow plans to lockdown from October 28th to November 7th.
Moscow’s mayor says historic numbers of cases are expected there in the coming days.
Overall, the numbers have charted a bumpy graph worldwide with cases rising and falling, as different nations have reported different impacts at different times.