I caution that the following are my relatively uninformed opinions.
I agree there is reason for optimism. I wouldn't say things are "starting to look better across the board," but almost
across the board (in the US). The Kinsa map (US Health Weather Map by Kinsa
) is looking good with a few exceptions. Looks like the shutdowns and social distancing is working decently.
Before I get too optimistic, I would need to see:
(1) the current hotspots ALL turn over (WA, MI, NY). I am particularly worried about Florida. IL is worrisome.
(2) No new hotspots emerge. Whether it be the variety of small population centers (like the current cases of Lafayette, LA or Albany, GA) or emerging clusters in large population centers (the Feds are worried about Philly, Baltimore, and DC). In Canada, the virus arrived later, and they aren't expected to peak until late spring.
(3) And I think we face a crapshoot when we ease the lockdown. Hopefully we can ride this out without large flareups by identifying and containing emerging clusters. Remember, that was really the plan all along. Until we get a treatment or a prophylaxis, we should only hope to be able to slow, not eliminate, the spread. ("Flatten the curve.")
(4) Remember, there are large swaths of the world's population that have not yet been hit hard AND are probably going to have trouble handling it. I am thinking of, say, Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh, sub-Saharan Africa... These areas could "keep the flame alive" in a dangerous way.
(5) Reinfection. Once things return to some degree of normality, we could, at any time, face flare-ups of the variety that kicked this party off to begin with.