As temperatures drop, flu season approaches, and new COVID-19 cases plateau at alarming levels, authorities are concerned if we might be headed for the next pandemic wave.
Labor Day celebrations, this last weekend, posed quite the threat in bringing about “another wave”, just like the wave following Memorial Day and Fourth of July festivities.
Our nation celebrated this holiday weekend with 40,000 new cases per day, which is double the number of daily cases reported last spring. And what’s worse this time is that more businesses have reopened, including national parks, malls, movie theaters, and zoos. That means more social events and activities, more mingling, and a higher-than-ever infection risk.
All this happening in the midst of students and teachers returning to school and university campuses presents yet more challenges for health authorities. Just days into the fall semesters, several schools have already reported outbreaks.
Only last week, students at the University of Alabama reported over 550 COVID cases across campus. This spike came in a matter of days since in-person classes only started on August 19th. And this is just one campus.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington's School of Medicine has predicted over 410,000 nationwide deaths by January 2021. Furthermore, if governments continue to relax social distancing requirements, or if mask-wearing trends don’t get any better, the situation will get even worse.
Unless government officials effectively take action, the outbreak will hit its worst by early December, with an estimated 2900 deaths per day. That is more than thrice the current number.
Commenting on these dangerously high numbers, IHME Director, Dr. Christopher Murray said,
"The number of deaths exceeds the capacity of the world's 50 largest stadiums, a sobering image of the people who have lost their lives and livelihoods."
Prior to the holiday weekend, top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci voiced his concerns for Labor Day and said,
“I look upon the Labor Day weekend really as a critical point. Are we going to go in the right direction and continue the momentum downward, or are we going to have to step back a bit as we start another surge?
Sharing his insight on our current case count (40,000 new cases daily), Fauci said the numbers are“unacceptably high”and that a further spike in cases following Labor Day, would make it far more challenging to restrict the spread of the disease.
So let’s all take more care now than before. Strictly follow all health guidelines, continue keeping the advised social distance, and wear masks — your Space Masks.
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