There Will Be A Second COVID -19 Wave
That a second wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and yes, deaths, will sweep America is not even a matter of speculation. There is no reason to believe it won’t happen.
18 or more state governments have begun permitting re-opening of non-essential businesses and the total number includes 8 additional states where there never were public health restrictions to begin with, for a total of 26, whose citizens and medical infrastructures are at risk.
The states that are “re-opening” are, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
States that never put restrictions in place to begin with, were; Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Based on the standards and criteria developed by the Johns Hopkins Center as safe procedures and benchmarks for re-opening – none of the 26 states are in conformity with them. Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and a co-author of the criteria outlined, told a Senate hearing that the center has not seen any of the states meeting the criteria.
In summing up the most critical of the guidelines, she told committee members:
“The first is to see the number of new cases decline for at least two weeks, and some states have met that criteria. But there are three other criteria and we suggest they should all be met.
Those include “enough public health capacity to conduct contact tracing on all new cases, enough diagnostic testing to test everybody with COVID-like symptoms,” and “enough health care system capacity to treat everyone safely.”
“To my knowledge, there are no states that meet all four of those criteria,” Rivers added.
It has become painfully obvious that a large segment of the American population, sees the coronavirus pandemic as a joke – and in their estimation, one that was pretty stale from day one of the stay at home and social distancing directives.
The closing of restaurants, stores and services, to their lights, was silly and unnecessary and therefore, now that these establishments are open, the manner in which they conducted themselves prior to the “lockdowns”, is the standard of their public conduct now – and then some.
Instead of dealing with this in a sober, responsible manner, they are full on, back to same old, same old.
Here, in this tweet, is a video of the scene at C.A.S.A. Tempe, a restaurant that is a magnet for party minded people, who, on the first day of re-opening, as you can see, are giving the big middle finger to any semblance of caution.
No social distancing, no masks – but they are receiving service with a smile from the restaurant management.
WATCH – @abc15 chopper video of crowds that gathered yesterday evening at C.A.S.A. in downtown Tempe. Police say they “responded and observed patrons inside business adhering to the governor’s executive order and practicing safe social distancing.” pic.twitter.com/2zYFm8IBLX
— Claudia Rupcich (@ClaudiaRupcich) May 12, 2020
Some might counter that there are a lot of restaurants and other business that are voluntarily maintaining state and CDC guidelines and many folks that are venturing forth are behaving conscientiously, but the problem is that you don’t need too many C.A.S.A. Tempe’s acting as a point of convergence for infection, then launching them out into the community at large, to kick the pandemic into a higher gear.
The same can be said of the meat packing plants across the country, where negligent governors are not using the powers their state constitutions afford them in extraordinary circumstances like a pandemic. Matters are so out of control in that agricultural sector, that one county health director, Dr. Mark Wallace of Weld County, Colorado, found no other option but to resign in protest.
Meanwhile, as reported by AZ Central, six additional virus-related deaths and another 260 confirmed cases were reported Monday by state officials. The figures brought statewide totals to at least 11,380 cases and 542 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Counties that had special orders in place that were equal to or greater than, statewide orders, are withdrawing them. Riverside County, for example – a county among a handful in California that are marginally Republican, is suspending all directives outside of those applying to public schools K-12. Note the language of the rescission:
Starting tomorrow, face coverings and six feet of social distancing will be strongly recommended whenever practical and within reason. Limitations on short term rentals and golf course operations will be rescinded and in alignment with state orders.
“Strongly recommended whenever practical and within reason.” That clearly means that it’s not a mandate, but it’s being left up to the purview of the management of the business to conclude whether the six feet and the face coverings are practical or within reason. Many will opt out of continuing to adopt these “recommendations”.
In his testimony to Senators today, via video conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, minus Donald Trump’s micro-managing his messaging, told the Senators on the Senate Health Committee, “There is no doubt, even under the best of circumstances: When you pull back on mitigation, you will see some cases appear. My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.”
As to the very real risks, such pulling back on mitigation could engender, Dr. Fauci, told participants in the hearing:
“If that occurs, there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back. Moving too quickly could lead to suffering and death that could be avoided — but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery, because you’d almost turn the clock back, rather than going forward.”
Dr. Fauci is not alone in his assessment. “With so many places opening up before we see indicators of meaningful, sustained transmission declines, there is substantial risk of resurgence.” Kimberly Powers, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told the New York Times.
Additionally, Ms. Powers remarked in an earlier congressional hearing on the subject:
“We risk complacency in accepting the preventable deaths of 2,000 Americans each day. We risk complacency in accepting that our health care workers do not have what they need to do their jobs safely. And we risk complacency in recognizing that without continued vigilance in slowing transmission, we will again create the conditions that led to us being the worst-affected country in the world.”
And Jeffrey Shaman, Columbia University epidemiologist echoed Ms. Powers and Dr. Fauci’s warning, telling the Washington Post: “It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase, but by how much.”