The biggest takeaway is that WhatsApp won't delete your account on May 15. The company has chosen to take a more gradual approach of enforcing the change, and plans to start killing features progressively.
For the first few weeks, WhatsApp will continue to push notifications that offer more information about the policy update. This is already being done, but the frequency of these notifications might be upped by a notch. If, after this period, you still don't accept the update, the notification will become persistent. This will essentially prevent you from accessing your chat list.
However, you'll still be able to pick up incoming calls and videos and view and reply to messages from the notification shade. After a few weeks of limited functionality, WhatsApp will simply stop sending calls or messages to your phone.
Even then, WhatsApp says it won't delete the account. It's important to note that the company's existing policy regarding inactive users will still apply. That is, if WhatsApp isn't connected to the internet for about 120 days, your account might be deleted. However, if you don't uninstall the app and decide to accept the terms even after the 120-day window — provided you're connected to the internet — you should be able to regain access to your account.
But if you've decided to part ways and want to move on to privacy-focused alternatives like Signal or Telegram, here's how you can request all your account data and delete your account for good.