With regards to the unfold of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the US, Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, MD, MPH, wrote for Johns Hopkins Medication that she needs us to visualize a patchwork quilt. “The COVID-19 pandemic in the US is affecting completely different areas all through the nation in alternative ways at completely different instances,” she defined. So, as for the prediction that instances would decline in the summer time and a “second wave” would come in the fall, that is not what is occurring. We’re seeing a decline in some US states, whereas different areas, many of which were among the first to reopen, are at the moment seeing surges in instances — and two specialists POPSUGAR spoke with make clear that, subsequently, we’re nonetheless in the first wave of this virus.
Why Consultants Say We’re Nonetheless in the First Wave of COVID-19
“We should not at the backside of a curve the place we have now gotten our instances down to actually low ranges.”
Anne Liu, MD, immunologist and infectious illness physician with Stanford Well being Care, advised POPSUGAR that the idea of a second wave assumes that there was a “clear first wave,” and he or she can’t say that we’re clear of that first wave. Janet Baseman, PhD, MPH, affiliate dean of the faculty of public well being and professor of epidemiology at the College of Washington, agreed. We have not gotten the virus beneath management but, and the improve of instances in states such as Florida means the first wave is not over, she stated.
Merely put, “we’re actually apprehensive about locations like Texas and Florida the place we see numbers going up, the hospitalizations going up, ICUs filling up, and that isn’t their second wave,” Dr. Liu defined. Apart from the indisputable fact that respiratory viruses are inclined to drop-off in the summer time — which is not taking place with COVID-19 — initially, the discussions of a second wave come fall had been charged by the truth that folks spend extra time indoors and faculties choose again up, Dr. Baseman stated. A spike in instances as a result of of that might nonetheless occur, she advised POPSUGAR, however “our first wave has not been contained. We should not at the backside of a curve the place we have now gotten our instances down to actually low ranges.”
Each medical doctors pointed to the indisputable fact that we do not have common strict measures throughout the nation as an entire. “For those who have a look at the new instances graphs for different international locations the place measures have been utilized extra uniformly, there may be extra of an up and a down,” Dr. Liu stated. Here is a graphic of the downward curves in France and Italy, in keeping with information collected by The New York Occasions. Right here, in comparability, is a chart of US cases, the place the curve continues to go up.
And, Dr. Liu additional defined in a earlier interview with POPSUGAR that in locations the place public well being messaging has been extra clear about bodily distancing and carrying masks — mask mandates, for instance — there tends to be much less spikes in instances. Different components similar to having extra folks per family in your group and in addition having the next focus of important employees, come into play as nicely, she stated.
Regardless of government recommendations on opening up America in phases, “what our phases of opening and shutting seem like are literally utterly completely different throughout the nation,” Dr. Baseman stated. “What the insurance policies are, are utterly completely different. What the mandates are, are utterly completely different. It is actually sort of a patchwork strategy as a result of there’s not a nationwide strategy.” She additional stated that she believes locations like Florida reopening as far back as May has a direct correlation with the improve in COVID-19 instances.
Is It Assured That Instances Will Surge When Locations Open Up?
Relying on the place you might be, there could or will not be a rise in instances with reopening in the close to future, or in case your space had been to return right into a “lockdown” mode after which reopen afterward, Dr. Baseman stated. Elements of our nation that haven’t seen a excessive degree of instances are usually extra distant areas, and subsequently it is doable that these areas won’t see any instances with reopening, she defined. Moreover, spikes in instances after reopening just isn’t inevitable in each single group, however in common, there can be outbreaks as folks come collectively once more till we obtain herd immunity, the place a excessive share of the inhabitants is immune, she stated. (Notice: the length of human immunity to COVID-19 continues to be unknown.)
That being stated, what we have realized from states that had been the first to open up and at the moment are seeing a rise in instances is that “you’ll be able to’t simply flip a change and have every part return to regular,” Dr. Baseman stated. “Think about a state of affairs the place community-level mixing comes nearly to a halt,” she continued (like the lockdowns that many locations had at the begin of the epidemic in the US). “The case numbers come down, and what that helps us to do in addition to protecting folks from getting sick and saving lives, is we get a deal with on reopening in order that our infrastructure can hopefully assist to forestall the transmissions that can inevitably occur right here and there.”
Doing testing, case investigations, and phone tracing to interrupt future chains of transmission is far simpler to execute when there are decrease numbers of instances than in locations the place instances are excessive, Dr. Baseman defined. “It is actually laborious to do all of these issues that it is advisable to be doing when you find yourself simply utterly overwhelmed with instances.” The secret is gradual reopening: “a faucet, not a change,” she acknowledged.
As you slowly reopen, you’ll be able to sustain with the instances that you’ve got recognized, “both in a family or in a group or related to an occasion. You check these folks. You do case investigation and phone tracing in order to get folks to do the self and group protecting behaviors that might then assist us all forestall the subsequent era of transmissions,” Dr. Baseman defined. “You have to open the faucet slowly to be able to be sure that that each one of your techniques can deal with what’s popping out of the faucet, moderately than flipping a change.”
What Can We Do?
Preserve taking a “layered” approached, Dr. Baseman stated. “None of these largest public well being measures alone solves our downside. Not the six-foot rule, not the wear-a-mask rule, not the do-outdoors-more-and-indoors-less rule, hand-washing . . . none of these issues by themselves goes to maintain folks from getting sick.” So, observe all of them. Wash your palms, bodily distance from folks, and put on a masks when in public, particularly in crowded indoor settings with poor air flow.
Dr. Baseman applauded the CDC director’s feedback in mid July that urged common masking throughout the US, given the indisputable fact that masks are confirmed to assist mitigate the unfold of the virus. Masking, although, has turn out to be politicized, she stated, so she would not know if common masking throughout the nation might be achieved. Regardless, “I feel it is nonetheless price doing, as a result of it is actually vital that we get a deal with on this utilizing any technique that we are able to that’s proof primarily based,” she famous, including that she’s very practically-minded about COVID-19. Backside line? “We’ve obtained to get it beneath management, and it is not beneath management.”
POPSUGAR goals to offer you the most correct and up-to-date details about the coronavirus, however particulars and suggestions about this pandemic could have modified since publication. For the newest data on COVID-19, please take a look at sources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.