Covid-19. Get ready for the Second Wave.
I wrote a blog post on March 23rd about Covid-19 and the concern for what could happen. That was just over 3 months ago. On March 23rd we had 34,000 cases in this country and our case count was increasing by 9,000 case per day. The country was starting to shut down in an effort to flatten the curve. Predictions of over a million people being infected were being widely debated as some people predicted the worst while others felt things were being overstated. In fairness and with a keen understanding that hindsight is 20/20 we really didn’t know much back then. In the last three months we have learned a great deal about this Virus and have done some great things as well as some not so great things.
Let’s take a look at where we are today and how we got here.
From March 23rd to April 23rd we saw increases in daily cases as the country struggled to get control of the virus spread. By the end of April, we seemed to get things under control and the new daily cases started to come down from a peak of about 34,000 cases per day. We all started feeling good about our success at “flattening the curve”. By early June we had reduced the daily new case number to less than 20,000.
With all this good news states started re-opening and reducing restrictions. Unfortunately, it appears that some of them jumped the gun a little and removed too many restrictions. That combined with some Covid fatigue by the general public seems to have given the Virus new life like a blast of air can give a fire. Yesterday we set a record with over 50,000 new cases in one day. Earlier this week Dr. Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that he is worried about the new case count exceeding 100,000 per day in the near future if we don’t do something.
There is some good news in all of this. Our health care delivery system once again rose to the challenge and has done a great job of protecting Americans from their biggest threat, themselves. With this spike in new cases we have not seen a corresponding spike in the fatality count. Our average daily fatality count peaked on May 7th at over 2,300 per day. On July 1st that number was down to just over 500 per day. Some of that is a result of the spike in younger people contracting the virus but much of it is a reflection of how our health care professionals have continued to improve their understanding of the virus and how to treat it once someone gets sick. They are truly the hero’s in all of this.
So here we are looking at a second wave of the virus that could be worse than the first. Yes, our health system has made great strides in treating this virus, but they are also on the brink of being overloaded in states like Florida and Texas.
So, what should we do?
To begin, let’s start focusing on what is productive and give up some of the unproductive discussions that seem to be politically motivated. The Virus is neither Republican or Democrat and our discussions about it shouldn’t be politically biased. Can we all agree on some simple facts here? Yes, this virus is worse than the flu. No, its not some kind of conspiracy. No, the numbers being reported are not overstated. If anything, they are understated. Yes, wearing masks in public does help control the spread of the virus. On that last one can we also all agree that failing to wear a mask in public is not only irresponsible but it’s also disrespectful of others and disrespectful to those health care workers on the front line. This is not an issue of personal rights, it’s an issue of public safety and concern for your friends, family and the rest of your community. I for one am tired of people debating this.
The main thing we can all do is be part of the solution and not the problem. Let’s not worry about what a given politician or elected official does or says. “We” can be the solution to this problem. “We” need to take an active role in fighting this virus. That means paying attention to the very intelligent experts available to us. That means following the advice of some gifted physicians and really practicing intelligent social distancing and precautions. Just because something is allowed in your state or area doesn’t mean it’s safe or intelligent. Practice some common sense and help get this virus back under control.
If “we” take control of this and bend that curve back down, it will be better for all of us. If we aren’t willing to do these simple things and do them without turning it into a political discussion or a discourse on Constitutional Law then we have no one to blame but ourselves when hospitals get over loaded, people die and the politicians are left with no other choice but to shut things down again.
It’s up to you and me to get things back on track. Let’s not blow this.
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