Sign up for our daily briefingMake your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what’s new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.Stay on top of the latest market trendsSubscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.Sports news worthy of your timeBinge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.Tech news worthy of your timeGet our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.Get the inside storiesGet an insider’s guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everydayCatch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everydayWant a daily digest of the top Denver news?Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios DenverWant a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des MoinesWant a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin CitiesWant a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa BayWant a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios CharlotteDaily cases of COVID-19 are currently falling across most of the world, and deaths — which had been climbing globally until late January — are also beginning to decrease.

The big picture: We can only learn so much from this 30,000-foot view, and there’s plenty to fear from the emerging variants. Plus, cases and deaths had been so high that even after climbing down from the peak, we’re still pretty close to the summit.

But this is the first time since the pandemic began where cases are falling in basically every region of the world at the same time. On a global level, virtually the only number that is rising is vaccine doses administered.And in some places — south Asia for example — there’s growing confidence that the worst of the pandemic may be over even before vaccines become widely available.Our thought bubble: Optimism has not aged well during this pandemic, and this chart could look very different in a few weeks’ time.