The state of California, which is a significant (~40M) size, has now been monitoring its COVID-19 data long enough that we can perhaps talk about yearly patterns.
Below are a few charts and graphs from the state's top-level dashboard.
Specifically, we look at cases, test positivity rate, and total hospitalizations, as well as (of course) vaccine progress.
For cases, in 2020 the case rate began to climb at a near-vertical pace on November 1st, but here it is mid-November and case rates continue to decline from the summer's Delta wave:
For test positivity rate, in mid-Nov 2020 the positivity rate of the tests was at 6% and climbing all November, while here in mid-November 2021 the positivity rate is 2% and has been steady at that rate for weeks:
And for hospitalizations, which are a lagging indicator but perhaps the most important indicator, in mid-November 2020 state hospitalizations were at 6,000, climbing from a value of about 3,200 at the start of Nov 2020, while in mid-November 2021 state hospitalizations are at 3,768 but they have been stable at about 4,000 for weeks and appear to be slowly declining now.
My instinct is that we have to wait at least another two weeks before we'll get solid information about whether we're going to see the same wave that California saw last winter, but the early information has to be deemed promising and optimistic.
Meanwhile, to close on that "steady vaccine progress" claim, the dashboard also shows that vaccination rates in California are actually still rising even now 10 months after vaccination began.
Vaccination is working; California's 10 months of hard data proves it.
Yay for continued progress on state-wide vaccination!