Doom-laden prophecies of a surging wave of new infections and an autumn overshadowed by the threat of coronavirus lockdowns and renewed restrictions have proven, at the very least, premature.

The figures for the seven days to Sunday, September 25, indicate that the most important number – the incidence rate – has declined rather than risen. Adjusted for 100,000 population, the rate was 138, compared to 174 one week earlier.

At the sharp end of the stats, only three Monaco residents are currently receiving treatment for coronavirus symptoms at Princess Grace Hospital, alongside four non-residents. No-one is in intensive care.

On Sunday 37 residents were recovering at home with mild symptoms. The figure one week earlier was 42.

There are many other burning issues to deal with, from the possibility of power cuts this winter to all-out nuclear war. Increasingly, it seems that a new pandemic need not be among our biggest worries.

FILE PHOTO: In the depths of Covid, February 2021 Reuters