I have written a paper on COVID-19 with data that goes up to the 31st of July. I would say that the interest in this paper will reduce significantly as time goes on. I submitted the paper to a fast-track process of a relatively high-profile journal on August 5. This is the second time I have submitted to the fast-track process of that journal. Last time, both reviewers were assigned in a single day, and the first round of reviewing was complete in two weeks.
This time things were much slower. Reviewer 1 took over a week to assign. According to status updates, Reviewer 1's review is in as of August 20. A second reviewer still has not been found. I asked the journal whether there was any way I could assist, and they asked if I had reviewer suggestions. I thought a bit and provided a suggestion. That was before the weekend and I have not heard back.
Here’s my conundrum: If Reviewer 1 has recommended rejection, then the paper will not be accepted, so I think waiting any longer is a waste of time. I would like to see Reviewer 1’s review and feedback, implement it, and submit to a different journal ASAP, preferably still in August (so the data is less than one month old). I feel this is an unusual thing to ask: “Based on Reviewer 1's report, is the paper likely to be rejected? If so I'll just withdraw, make the changes, and submit to a different journal now.” If we wait till a second reviewer is found, that review takes time, and then the paper is rejected based on Reviewer 1's report, then I will be quite frustrated. I will have waited for little purpose and the paper will now be out of date and less likely to be accepted by another journal.
There's always a certain amount of chance with submissions. Do the reviewers like your paper – that's often quite subjective. If they don't, I'll roll the dice again, and would like to ASAP.