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Will A Second Wave Of Coronavirus Come?

Will A Second Wave Of Coronavirus Come?

"Its arrival is uncertain, and could simply be an elongation of the fist wave due to low levels of immunity.

The viral hotspots are always moving. What was once the worst area in the country in the US for the coronavirus is now one of the best, and the least affected, now the worst. The cycle goes round and round. This virus perpetuates itself so readily it can be hard to tell what is really going on. Are Americans still in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19 infections? Is a second wave inevitable?

It does seem that many states are still in the throws of the first wave. Places like Washington state and New York state who were hit earlier, could be readying themselves for a second wave already, however.

Infectious disease modeller Dr. Caroline Colijn from Simon Fraser University in Canada told Global she believes that Canadians are still in the midst of the first wave of the virus, and that a so-called second wave will likely come, but it may not be as we imagine.

“So, I would say it’s more like a new part of the first wave,” says Colijn. “There hasn’t been really a natural pulling back of the virus, it hasn’t sort of come through and gone away naturally, and then we’re waiting to see about a second wave. What happened is we really put up a wall or we put a hose up to put it out, and if we reduce that hose we’ll probably find it’s still there”.

Like many disease experts, Colijn feels a resurgence of COVID-19 is inevitable at some point. The language of “a second wave” is somewhat misleading though she says, as we haven’t built up any meaningful level of immunity when it comes to the virus. But yes, as we reopen and take more risks like going back to work and school, it is likely that COVID-19 will spread even more in our populations in both the US and Canada.

Apart from opening up societies with the virus around, why do disease experts feel a second wave of the coronavirus is unavoidable? This belief is based on pandemics and epidemics of the past. Unfortunately, there has never been a documented pandemic that did not have a second wave of infection. If we look at the Spanish Flu of 1918 for example, there were three distinct waves of infection that hit the public, according to health officials. The first came in March of 1918, and the second wave in the fall of 1918. The second wave of the Spanish Flu proved to be much deadlier than the first. The third wave came about a year later in the fall and winter of 1919.

When the coronavirus will resurge in places is somewhat unpredictable. Since we have shut down our societies in order to stop the spread of the virus, it could be that a true second wave of the coronavirus will take that much longer to arrive.

If we are lucky and a vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is ready for use in the general public by spring of next year as Dr. Fauci has estimated optimistically, it could be that we continue to experience the real first wave of COVID-19 through to that point. If we are fortunate, a true second wave of COVID-19 could come after a vaccine has been released.

This being said, as areas open up in the US, Canada, and elsewhere, while the virus is still in circulation, it is almost certain that cases of the coronavirus will continue to rise, or rise again. Coronavirus cases are now topping 5 million in the US, to the shock of those in Europe and elsewhere. According to CNN, health officials believe the real number of cases is actually much higher- as much as ten times the official number or up to 50 million. This is because not everyone who falls sick gets tested. In addition,  about 40% of people with COVID-19 have been found to be asymptomatic in some studies.

According to reports, over 97,000 children in the US tested positive for COVID-19 in the final weeks of July. Schools are now reopening and we will have to see if they remain open, or will need to close once again."

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