Our planet and everyday reality have changed dramatically since the current coronavirus first appeared in late December 2019. After months of hunkering down from March 2020 onwards for shelter-in-place orders, all 50 states started to reopen with varying deadlines, rules, and regulations in the spring and summer.
It might have been tempting for some of us, with suddenly crowded parks, pools, restaurants, and bars across the country, to believe (or at least hope) that we were returning to some semblance of normalcy. But SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, never went anywhere, despite widespread quarantine fatigue.
Although experts in public health and infectious diseases initially warned this coming winter of a possible "second wave" of COVID-19, it may seem as if we have already reached a new wave in the fight against this invisible enemy.
Robert Ambler, M.D., dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College and former chief medical officer for the CDC, says, "A second wave refers to the revival of COVID-19 cases in our community."
The United States of America is the super power of the world. United states have 50 states. These sates are developed very well. A few of the states Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware are maybe least prepared for the coronavirus due to the least focus of the government. The government has mainly focused on those states who face more pressure and cases of coronavirus. So, the government is first preparing these states.
Idaho is the state which is least prepared for the increase in corona cases. Now the condition in Idaho is so dire. They have the worst condition to handle more patients. The patients run out of hospital beds, local health authorities are considering sending new coronavirus patients to neighboring Washington state and Oregon.
However, states in the Northeast, which were hot spots in the early days of the pandemic, have reported new infection outbreaks in some regions.
Public health officials attribute the spikes in part to cooler weather that keeps people indoors and an audience that is increasingly tired of wearing masks and social distancing.
In the United States, at least 1,130 new coronavirus deaths and 92,660 new cases were registered on Nov. 3. There has been an average of 88,168 cases a day during the past week, a 46 percent rise from the average two weeks ago.
Are we still in the first wave?
"Yes, in some regions of the world, we are already" knee-deep "in the first wave of the latest coronavirus pandemic," says Bojana Berić-Stojšić, M.D., Ph.D., Ambassador to the United Nations Society for Public Health Education and Director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Master of Public Health Programmed.
Experts believe that the first wave of COVID-19 in the United States never left us. Our national response, you can blame it. Some states reopened too early, violating the CDC and state and local public health officials' recommendations that would hopefully have required the virus to die to more manageable levels.
When is the second wave of COVID-19 expected to hit?
Since the United States is a patchwork of different case rates and only after a first wave has tapered off dramatically can a second wave strike, it is difficult to tell when the next wave will hit and the timing can vary greatly from place to place.
For instance, New York, once the pandemic epicenter, has taken cases down to a very low level, which now puts it at risk of a second wave, says Davidson Hamer, M.D., a board-certified infectious disease specialist and professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and Medicine of global health and medicine.
All in all, however, "We are very likely to encounter a second wave and probably more waves beginning this fall and winter, with a probable peak around October or November," Dr. Varkey says. Just remember: we're dealing with an entirely new (and thus unpredictable) virus, so it's far too early to tell whether a seasonal trend is going to accompany COVID-19, he says.
How are experts preparing for a second wave?
To begin with, public health authorities and specialists in infectious diseases are working hard to convey that social distancing activities need to continue, even though there are new cases of COVID-19, says Dr. Varkey. Doctors and healthcare professionals have come together to demand that government officials take action.
Organizations such as the American Hospital Association and the United National Nurses have sounded the alarm about significant and widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, medications, medical supplies, testing kits, and urgently needed hospital personnel to continue battling COVID-19.
Through enhancing testing of people with symptoms of COVID-19 as well as testing for antibodies, or proteins the body produces in reaction to the virus, many infectious disease researchers are working hard to try to help identify who has been infected with the virus.
While having COVID-19 antibodies does not actually mean that everyone is resistant to reinfection with the virus, in order to find out how large or small the second wave would be, Dr. Varkey says, it will give us an indication of who was infected in the first wave.