Plus, warm weather may have advantages both on the virus itself (though it has not been much help so far in the pandemic) and on the way people interact. Nice weather brings people outdoors, where wind and open air can blunt viral transmission, even from that person who is coughing uncontrollably.
These three factors — relaxed precautions, a population with waning immunity and a new very transmissible variant — collectively served to sink the country into the throes of its current frightening outbreak. And these same three factors are at play across the United States.
In other words, sooner than later, it will — again — become a story of the unvaccinated and the damage they are inflicting on society by their stubborn refusal to protect their neighbors.
Whatever form the BA.2 subvariant surge takes, mild or not so mild, the problem will be entirely self-inflicted. For the last 14 months, we have had the tools to prevent not the next variant but its impact on individuals and on society. Perhaps the coming wave will be effective at convincing the millions of holdouts by demonstrating — again — that vaccines and masking and all the rest are the only way out from an endless pandemic.