• Coronavirus cases are on the rise in several states around the country again, which is a concerning trend as the US moves deeper into the fall and winter months when flu season will become more of a problem.
  • At the same time, several states where coronavirus cases are on the rise are doing the exact wrong thing right now in response — removing restrictions such as limitations on crowd sizes.
  • Here’s a look at why this issue is so concerning.

The coronavirus pandemic in the US has taken a staggering turn in recent days, as not only have President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and are in quarantine, but coronavirus cases are also likewise surging again in a number of states around the country.

Doubly concerning within that spike, even separate from the fact that it comes on the precipice of what health experts have started calling a “twindemic” — the imminent onset of flu season, mixed with the lingering coronavirus pandemic — is how certain states are responding. White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci in recent days singled out one in particular (Florida), saying during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America earlier this week that the Sunshine State’s move to fully reopen bars and restaurants is deeply concerning to him.

That’s because new moves in the state following an order at the end of last week from Gov. Ron DeSantis are restoring some aspects of life that have no business being restarted in the middle of a pandemic. Even strip clubs in Florida’s Broward County as well as in Miami-Dade have reopened (albeit with coronavirus-era restrictions). “When you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble,” Fauci said. “Now’s the time actually to double down a bit, and I don’t mean close … we’re not talking about shutting anything down. We’re talking about commonsense-type public health measures.”

And it’s not just Florida that’s in that boat. Here’s a rundown of several other states that are seeing increases in coronavirus cases again, and which also have been rolling back protective measures like limitations on crowd sizes in public. In addition to Florida, this is also happening in:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Tennessee
  4. Nevada
  5. New York
  6. Wyoming
  7. Texas

Here in Tennessee, to add some additional context to this list, we’ve been trending in the correct direction in the pocket of the state where I live. The state as a whole, however, not so much. Our governor, Bill Lee, announced just a few days ago on September 29 that he would be lifting coronavirus restrictions on businesses as well as major gatherings in 89 of our 95 counties. Meantime, there have been almost 9,300 COVID-19 cases statewide over the past seven days, pushing Tennessee’s overall total to more than 193,000 as of the time of this writing.

Of course, what must be stressed in any analysis of this kind is that, while, yes, it’s irresponsible of a locale to remove coronavirus measures when the pandemic is actually getting worse, one thing that has not been removed is the onus you have yourself to act responsibly. Wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. Easy, simple steps you can take, no matter what everyone else decides to do or not do around you.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.