A couple of weeks after several European countries went on (at least partial) lockdown once again in the face of surging COVID-19 cases, the tightening of restrictions appears to be paying off.
As the following chart, based on data from the Johns Hopkins University, shows, the seven-day average of newly confirmed cases across the continent started trending downward, dropping more than 40 percent from its early November peak.
After successfully keeping new infections at a very low level over the summer, case numbers in Europe had started trending upwards again in mid-July, climbing to unprecedented highs by the end of September, which is also when the EU surpassed the United States in terms of daily new cases. The rate of new infections continued to accelerate through October, with the seven-day average of new cases increasing almost fivefold between October 1 and October 31.
Meanwhile, it’s still unclear where the situation in the U.S. is headed. After briefly trending downwards, the number of daily new cases surpassed 200,000 for only the second time on December 2, and with the possibly adverse effects of Thanksgiving weekend yet to become visible, said positive trend could turn out to be brittle. As of December 2, the seven-day average of new cases stood at 164,000 in the United States, with more than 4.5 million new cases confirmed over the past month alone.