We as a nation have spent close to three months in quarantine. It has felt like an eternity to many. Our world was built on hustle and bustle, which dropped to 0 in the blink of an eye. As time has gone on cases have continued to plummet, and people have grown anxious to re-open.
The trillion dollar stimulus package, local support, and global relief funds are growing dry. People are running out of income in every strata of class. Everyone in America, from the rich to the poor, is feeling the hurt. States are eager to kick start their economies, with the 2007 recession still very fresh in mind. We know that our economy, and therefore our citizens, are hurting.
However, the predictable is beginning to happen. As economies open up, so do the number of COVID cases. The urge to escape our homes and confined spaces is driving against the logical reasoning of staying home. We are primal creatures at heart, and we feel the urge to congregate in our bones. This while inevitably drives cases through the roof. We have yet to eradicate COVID, and as we have seen in Arkansas, Missouri, and several other states, it only takes one infected person to infect hundreds, which leads to thousands, which leads to body-bags piling up.
It was not long ago that Chancellor Merkhel stood before the press and made it clear to the German people how delicate the situation is. If infection rates rise even .1, the healthcare system in Germany would be overwhelmed in a month. An infection rate describes the number of people that each person infects. A rate of 1 signifies that a person only gives the virus to one other person. If it rises to .1, that may not seem like a lot, but on the large scale of hundreds of millions of people, that can be catastrophic. Exponential growth drives rates of spread.
It is becoming more clear, now than ever, that it isn’t a question of “if” but “when” for a second wave. We as a country expected a pandemic to last months, when past pandemics have lasted years. So we must be ready. This time around, we have the ventilators to handle the patients in the hospital, but our healthcare system would be equally overwhelmed. People would die en masse from not only COVID, but every other incident that would hospitalize them. Heart-attacks would become fatal, car accidents wouldn’t have ambulances, and cancer patients wouldn’t be able to receive treatment. Deaths would pile up.
There's still much that doctors and scientists do not know about the coronavirus that's infected almost 6 million individuals and taken nearly 400,000 lives, but most experts agree that until we have an effective coronavirus vaccine, the only way to slow the spread of this virus is by taking precautions like social distancing, wearing face masks in people and washing hands properly and frequently. Experts are bracing for another wave of the coronavirus Exactly when it will occur, how it will happen and if we're already beginning to see the consequences are unknown. However scientists, health officials and government leaders across the world have warned that fresh COVID-19 cases could grow as lockdown restrictions lift and individuals come into closer contact with one another than they have in months. Since the coronavirus is an extremely infectious pathogen that spreads throughout saliva and breath, experts are urging lawmakers to be watching out for a next"summit," a sharp rise in cases that falls short of a full-scale next"wave"
A lot of people think that we have ended the pandemic, or are near the end, but far from it. There are going to be multiple waves of the virus which will require additionally sheltering in place. Owning masks and PPE now, will save lives in the future. It also optimizes distribution frequency, so that there isn’t a huge spike in demand that drives up price and dries up supply.
As we saw for the first wave, people were unprepared. If we allow that to happen again, the waves will be just as severe. A failure to have PPE on hand and observe the guidelines will mean the heroic efforts of our first line responders, and all those whose lives have been forever altered by COVID, will be for nothing.
We sincerely hope that the public will be adequately protected so that we can not only slow down the spread of the virus, but be ready for the bounceback. N95 respirators and masks ensure that masses of infected people won’t spread the virus at the same rate.
Current estimates range from July to October on when the wave will hit. A spike in cases will mean longer periods of time working remotely, no return to sports with spectators, and possibly colleges failing to return to campus in the fall.
Hopefully we are able to mitigate the human and economic losses so that our nation does not have to watch itself dissolve into chaos and destruction.
So before you break social distancing and put lives at risk, remember that it only takes one person to drive cases up. This is a group effort, a nationwide effort, that requires we all work together, or all fail together. Put on a mask, put on hand sanitizer, let’s keep each other safe and protect the country we love.