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Experts think it might already be too late to stop a catastrophic new coronavirus wave

Published Oct 14th, 2020 8:41PM EDT
Coronavirus Update
Image: Viesturs/Adobe

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  • The coronavirus infection rate is rising rapidly in 38 states across the country.
  • Over the last seven days, the U.S. has averaged 52,000 new coronavirus cases per day.
  • Experts warn that we could see a massive spike in new infections due to colder weather and the arrival of flu season

The coronavirus situation in the U.S. is incredibly bleak, to say the least. Over the past month alone, the average number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. has shot up from 35,000 per day to 50,000 per day. All told, there are currently 38 states where the coronavirus infection rate is on the rise. Some states — like North Dakota and Wisconsin, for example — are currently seeing a record number of coronavirus cases. In fact, the situation in Wisconsin recently became so dire that the state was forced to build a field hospital just outside of Milwaukee in order to contend with an avalanche of patients.

Unfortunately, the situation in the U.S. is liable to get worse before it gets better. Aside from the fact that new infections are rising, colder weather is on the horizon which will lead to more people staying indoors. And as we’ve covered before, indoor gatherings — even amongst family members — are disproportionately responsible for coronavirus infections.

“We need to pay a little bit more attention now to the recirculation of air indoors,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said back in August, “which tells you that mask-wearing indoors when you’re in a situation like that is something that is as important as wearing masks when you’re outside dealing with individuals who you don’t know where they came from or who they are.”

To this point, a CDC report from last week detailed how a 13-year old with the coronavirus managed to infect fourteen of her relatives while staying at a vacation home with her extended family.

Colder weather, coupled with the impending flu season, has health experts worried that we’re going to see a massive spike in new infections and associated deaths come November and December.

Touching on this during a recent appearance on CNN, Fauci said:

It’s going in the wrong direction right now, so if there’s anything we should be doing, we should be doubling down in implementing the public health measures that we’ve been talking about for so long, which are keeping a distance, no crowds, wearing masks, washing hands, doing things outside as opposed to inside, in order to get those numbers down.

We’re entering into the cooler months of the fall and ultimately the cold months of the winter, and that’s just a recipe of a real problem if we don’t get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge.

Fauci this summer said that it was imperative for the U.S. to get its daily infection rate down below 10,000 per day. Clearly, we’re not anywhere close to meeting that threshold. And as mentioned above, we’re moving further away from that benchmark with each passing day.

With a second wave on the horizon, it’s worth mentioning that, historically speaking, the second wave of a pandemic tends to be more deadly than the first. Recall, the bulk of deaths resulting from the Spanish Flu happened during the second wave.

To this point, recall Fauci’s remarks from earlier in the year:

This is a pandemic of historic proportions. I think we can’t deny that fact. It’s something I think that when history looks back on it, it will be comparable to what we saw in 1918.

That was influenza, this is coronavirus, that essentially thrust itself onto the human population. It had two characteristics that are the thing that make it, as I say, ‘the perfect storm.’ And that is a virus that jumps species, but that almost immediately has an extraordinarily, capable and efficient way of spreading from human to human. Simultaneously with having a considerable degree of morbidity and mortality.

Until a vaccine is developed, it’s important for people to still wear masks whenever possible and to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.