When Is Coronavirus Second Wave Expected To Hit The U.S.? Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare Yourself
Ever since the emergence of the novel coronavirus in late December 2019, we all have witnessed and are experiencing drastic changes in our day-to-day reality. It’s understandable if you are worried and confused about what’s going to happen.
Elected officials too, are uncertain as to whether they should reopen their states or opt to extend the current stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. But, experts predict a coronavirus second wave will most likely resurface in the not-so-distant future.
1Here’s what the experts have to say about the virus and our future
Experts on public health and infectious disease have warned that an even more devastating “second wave” of COVID-19 cases and deaths is highly possible. Robert Redfield, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated to Washington Post: “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through.
The president advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, M.D., reiterated this concern in a recent statement- “In my mind, it’s inevitable that we’ll have a return of the virus… when it does, how we handle it will determine our fate”.
2What does a “coronavirus second wave” mean now?
Robert Amler, M.D. dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College and former chief medical officer for the CDC said that “A second wave refers to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in our population”.
In the U.S., the number of novel coronavirus cases currently seems to be breaking after peaking around late March when it reached 20,000 new cases with 2,000 deaths almost every day. However, these numbers have now begun to stagger and stabilize, and have even started decreasing in some states. Jay Varkey, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and director of the Antimicrobial Management Program at Emory University Hospital says that a coronavirus second wave and perhaps even multiple waves will strike for many months to come.
3Is there any way to stop a resurgence of the virus?
Social distancing measures have been effective in controlling the spread of the virus and somewhat slowing down the number of cases. The development of a vaccine for the coronavirus will probably take another year or so. Until then all, we may have to develop a broad immunity to the novel coronavirus. Without any proper cure, we are still at the risk of catching virus. People may not show any symptoms after catching the virus, but they can spread it to others.
If social distancing measures are relaxed too soon the virus will surely spread rapidly. It’s possible that it may follow a seasonal up-and-down pattern like other types of coronaviruses and influenza that arrive in the fall and peak in winter. In fact, the H1N1 influenza pandemic hit the U.S. in the spring of 2009 and resurfaced for a second time in the fall and winter.