Pandemic Raging in Europe Again… Will Our Surge Worsen?
If you go to Las Vegas, you’re likely to see a sign reading: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Unfortunately, this is not the case for something happening in Europe. I’m talking about the surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths occurring overseas.
It happened in Europe last winter, then hit here in the spring. And now Europe is experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus and shutdowns are increasing.
Health experts predict the same thing could occur here. But the truth is, we’re not even out of our first wave yet.
10 States Break Record
Each time we think we’re starting to turn the corner on this pandemic, it gets worse.
Just recently, 10 states reported their highest single-day tallies of new COVID-19 cases. On the same day!
They were Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota and New Mexico. Plus North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Overall, the country reported its highest one-day total of new cases in three months on that same day (October 16).
‘The Potential to Be Way Worse’
In mid-September, the number of daily cases here had dropped to an average of about 34,300. Still very high, but at least the trend was headed in the right direction.
Now the average number of daily positive tests in America is over 55,000. That’s up more than 60 percent.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is an epidemiologist and Detroit’s former health director. Here’s what he told CNN.
“This really is a harrowing time and people have to be careful. When we saw this kind of transmission earlier in the pandemic, in March and April, the virus hadn’t seeded everywhere.
“This surge has the potential to be way worse than it was (in) either the spring or the summer.”
Frightening Possibilities Here
Also increasing are the percentage of positive tests and the number of hospitalizations. Which means the number of daily deaths is also likely to rise.
University of Washington researchers are making alarming predictions. They forecast that more than 2,300 Americans could die daily by mid-January. And a total of 389,000 could perish by February 1.
We can hope and pray that doesn’t happen. But the fact is, the U.S. has already had more than 8 million cases. With over 219,000 deaths.
In response, many states are passing tougher laws. Such as mask requirements and gathering limits.
New Curfews and Restrictions in Europe
Parts of Europe are reporting record daily highs of positive tests. Among the countries seeing spikes are England, France and Spain. Plus Germany, Italy and Poland. As well as Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
As a result, health and government officials are imposing new curfews and restrictions. Restaurants and bars are being closed again. Schools are being shut down.
The European office of the World Health Organization is urging governments to be “uncompromising” in their response to the virus.
In London and some other areas, millions are being told to minimize travel. And discontinue meeting with people outside their households. A 9 p.m. curfew has been established in Paris. It’s labeled a “health emergency zone.”
Lockdowns on the Way?
Why the rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths? People became complacent when the numbers started dropping. They let down their guard.
Strict efforts to control the virus are harmful to the economy. But without them, a complete lockdown might become necessary.
Stephen Kessler is a researcher at Harvard University. He models the spread of diseases, including COVID-19. He says, “The only thing that we know works and works very effectively is pretty strict lockdown.”
America may soon experience the same shutdowns currently occurring in Europe. Especially as cold weather sets in and people spend more time indoors where the virus spreads more easily.
Reconsider Thanksgiving Plans
Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Americans to carefully consider their Thanksgiving plans. Those plans often involve travel.
“We really have to be careful this time that each individual family evaluates the risk-benefit” of Thanksgiving gatherings, he said.
“If you have vulnerable people, the elderly or people that have underlying conditions, you better consider whether you want to do that now or maybe just forestall it and wait.”
Fauci added, “We’ve really got to double down on fundamental public health measures that we talk about every day. Because they can make a difference.”
Do What You Can Do
Among those measures are ones you’ve seen numerous times. Including social distancing and frequent hand washing with soap and water.
But we should also assess our risk for becoming infected. Based on where we live and our activities. As well as what percentage of people will be wearing masks in places we go.
Colder weather doesn’t mean we have to stay indoors. If we have to gather in groups, consider getting bundled up, meeting outside and keeping our distance from those around us.
Several of the year’s biggest holidays are coming up. Including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. Consider scaling back on festivities this year. Hopefully this will be the only year we’ll have to do that.