Is COVID-19 over? Not yet.

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Image from WHO: Globally, as of 3:50pm CEST, 22 June 2020, there have been 8,860,331 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 465,740 deaths, reported to WHO.

As bars, restaurants, and parks are opening up again, many have been going out. However, does this mean this is the end of the pandemic?

Is Covid-19 over or is there another wave coming?

According to Dr. Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, “There is a possibility that we will see a resurgence in the fall” [1]. Rivers says that it is hard to tell whether there will be another spike because we have never seen this virus before. Furthermore, Rivers argues that fall is associated with the start of school, the flu, and allergies; so, having many people in the same area would most likely create a surge in the number of cases. However, it would be difficult to determine whether similar COVID-19 symptoms would arise because of seasonal flu or COVID-19.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that cities that open up too early are showing an increase in COVID-19 cases. According to Dr. David Rubin, a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, “Unfortunately, we are already seeing some areas move too quickly and without enough vigilance” [4]. With the model created by the PolicyLab, short-term forecasts of cities can be analyzed, however, the long-term effect cannot be confidently identified. As of today, 76 to 100% of Cincinnati and Columbus are practicing social distancing measures [5]. Additionally, there are currently 7,915 confirmed cases in Franklin County and 358 deaths, while there are 4,020 confirmed cases and 187 deaths in Hamilton County [6].

Forecasting the Impacts of Weather and Social Distancing on COVID-19 Transmission Across the U.S. by PolicyLab [5]

Number of Cases Per County by Policy Lab [6]

How do we protect ourselves?

Because there is no guarantee of a resurgence, it is important to keep taking proper precautions despite the reopening of public spaces. These precautions include wearing a mask, keeping a distance from others, and washing your hands consistently. The CDC wrote an article stating that COVID-19 spreads most from the contact of others, but can also be spread from surfaces with the virus [2]. It is recommended that you wipe down surfaces and wear a mask in public. If you feel sick at any time, monitor your symptoms. Look for trouble breathing, inability to walk or stay awake, and persistent pressure in the chest [3]. Additionally, stay away from public spaces and keep in contact with a physician when these symptoms arise.

With these preventative measures, you can ensure better health outcomes for yourself and decrease the chances of spreading the virus.

Works Cited:

[1] Edwards, Erika. “Is This the Second Wave of COVID-19 in the U.S.? Or Are We Still in the First?” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 16 June 2020, www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/second-wave-covid-19-u-s-or-are-we-still-n1231087.

[2] “How Coronavirus Spreads.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 June 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html.

[3] “What to Do If You Are Sick.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 May 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.

[4] Capozzi, Lindsay. “New Projections Reveal Risk of COVID-19 Resurgence in Areas That.” New Projections Reveal Risk of COVID-19 Resurgence in Areas That Reopen Too Quickly, 20 May 2020, policylab.chop.edu/press-releases/new-projections-reveal-risk-covid-19-resurgence-areas-reopen-too-quickly.

[5] Capozzi, Lindsay. “Forecasting the Impacts of Weather and Social Distancing on COVID-19.” Forecasting the Impacts of Weather and Social Distancing on COVID-19 Transmission Across the U.S., 17 June 2020, policylab.chop.edu/project/forecasting-impacts-weather-and-social-distancing-covid-19-transmission-across-us.

[6] “COVID-Lab: Mapping COVID-19 in Your Community.” Lab, 17 June 2020, policylab.chop.edu/covid-lab-mapping-covid-19-your-community.

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