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Fear of a Covid Second Wave? The First Is Still Active

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

As many parts of the United States continue to lift quarantines, there has been much anxiety about the possibility of a second outbreak of COVID-19. Would it occur when lock downs are lifted, and people start moving more freely about or perhaps in the fall?

However, according to some medical professionals, a second wave should not be the country’s main concern right now.

According to the Associated Press, an estimated 120,000 Americans have died from the virus, and new cases have spiked, as June arrived.

Research from John Hopkins University say that 2.2 million people, in the US, have been infected with Coronavirus. In the south, positive COVID-19 cases have dramatically increased, being blamed on some younger people disregarding social distancing measures, according to CNN.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, former Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), even tweeted: “with younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave ... until the 20-40 year olds who are infected today go on to infect others.”

Public health experts believe that the nation is still inside the first wave of the spread. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health says, “when you have 20,000-plus infections per day, how can you talk about a second wave? We’re in the first wave. Let’s get out of the first wave before you have a second wave.”


Dr. Sanjay Gupa, CNN’s Chief Medical correspondent, says "I don't think we have the luxury of talking about a second wave right now because we have not gotten out of the first wave. it's not clear that we will get out of the first wave. Instead of actually having a true ebb and flow, it may just be micro and macro peaks for the foreseeable future."

Some health experts have had difficulty understanding the spread of COVID-19 through the United States, as a whole, due to conflicting information from states.

Doctor Tom Tsai, a surgeon and a health policy researcher at Harvard University explains, “All 50 states are in different parts of the curve so I think that’s where it becomes confusing, because some states are coming off the peak and are actually actively declining past a plateau. Some states have peaked and are stuck in a plateau. And then we have states like Arizona, Texas and Florida, where there is now sort of a big resurgence.”

Some experts look back to the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 and the so called “Black Death,” for insights of what a post-COVID-19 economic and jobs world will look like. In a Bloomberg podcast, Jamie Catherwood, of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, suggests that economic patterns of today’s world are likely to mirror those during the Spanish Flu, of a century ago. She relates that to a related spike in cleaning supplies purchases and ordering items for the home.

However, medical professionals warn that a time which COVID-19 is no longer something to contend with may not be anytime soon.

Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organizations(who) states “This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away… I don't think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear."

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