• Sat. Dec 4th, 2021

Corona -The Second Wave Is Of Great Concern

Dr. Tapashi Gupta

When the coronavirus pandemic began early in 2020, experts wondered if there would be waves of cases, a pattern seen in other virus pandemics. The overall pattern so far has been one of increasing cases of COVID-19, with a surge in the summer and a larger one in the fall. Some locations that saw a high number of coronavirus infections early on, followed by a decline, are having a “second wave” of increased cases.

State and local governments, as well as individual people, differ in their response to the pandemic. Some follow COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing , hand-washing and mask-wearing . Others are not as prescriptive in requiring these measures or in restricting certain high risk activities.

In some cities, towns and communities, public places are closed or practicing limitations (such as how many people are allowed inside at one time); others are operating normally. Some government and community leaders encourage or even mandate mask wearing and physical distancing in public areas. Others say it is a matter of personal choice.

However, the relationship between those precautions and cases of COVID-19 is clear: In areas where fewer people are wearing masks and more are gathering indoors to eat, drink, observe religious practices, celebrate and socialize, even with family, cases are on the rise.

Also, places where people live or work closely together (multigenerational households, long term care facilities, prisons and some types of businesses) have also tended to see more spread of the coronavirus. Coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and “superspreader” events — gatherings of people where one infected person or more transmits the virus to many others — continue to occur.

The overall pattern so far has been one of increasing cases of COVID-19, with a surge in the summer and a larger one in the fall. Some locations that saw a high number of coronavirus infections early on, followed by a decline, are having a “second wave” of increased cases.

Why the second wave started again if we observe clearly that the human behavior is the major factor. State and local governments, as well as individual people, differ in their response to the pandemic. Some follow COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing , hand-washing and mask-wearing. Others are not cautious in requiring these measures or in restricting certain high risk activities.

In some places political parties and leaders are organising rally and mass meetings in large fields with huge gathering of people without following the COVID-19 rules and regulations.

The relationship between those precautions and cases of COVID-19 is clear: In areas where fewer people are wearing masks and more are gathering indoors to eat, drink, observe religious practices, celebrate and socialize, even with family, cases are on the rise.

Also, places where people live or work closely together (multigenerational households, long term care facilities, prisons and some types of businesses) have also tended to see more spread of the coronavirus. Coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and “superspreader” events — gatherings of people where one infected person or more transmits the virus to many others — continue to occur.

Infectious disease expert Lisa Maragakis explains why COVID-19 cases are surging across the United States and important preventative steps to halt coronavirus transmission.

“Reopening” is another important factor for Coronavirus Spikes. As communities began to reopen bars, restaurants and stores during the spring and summer of 2020, people were understandably eager to be able to go out and resume some of their regular activities.

But the number of people infected with the coronavirus was still high in many areas, and transmission of the virus was easily rekindled once people increased their activities and contact with each other. Medical experts urged reopening communities to continue diligent COVID-19 precautions, including physical distancinghand-washing and mask-wearing, and monitoring for symptoms. Unfortunately, the combination of reopening and lapses in these infection prevention efforts has caused the number of coronavirus infections to rise again.

There is a delay between a policy change such as reopening businesses or relaxing occupancy limits in a community and when the effects of this change show up in the COVID-19 data. An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations will not be seen a week or even two weeks later. It seems to take much longer, perhaps as many as six to eight weeks, for effects of a policy or widespread behavior change to appear in the population-level data.

When a person is exposed to the coronavirus, it can take up to two weeks before they become sick enough to go to the doctor, get tested and have their case counted in the data. It takes even more time for additional people to become ill after being exposed to that person, and so on. Several cycles of infection must occur before a noticeable increase shows in the data that public health officials use to track the pandemic.

So when an area relaxes precautions, the effects of that change will take a month or more to be seen. Of course, surges also depend on the behaviors of people when they start moving around more. If everyone continues to wear masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing, reopening will have a much lower impact on transmission of the virus than in communities where people do not continue these safety precautions on a widespread basis.

In the beginning of the pandemic, some people wondered: Will the coronavirus go away in the summer? Unfortunately, a substantial spike during the hot summer months in the U.S. made it clear that this was not the case. Other respiratory illnesses, like colds and influenza (flu), are more common in the colder months. Now that fall is here, we are seeing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 across the U.S. In colder months, people gather indoors and this is a risk for further transmission of the virus.

Why are experts concerned about future spikes of the coronavirus or a second wave in some areas?

When the coronavirus first appeared in the U.S. in early 2020, it started with a very small number of infected people, so it took longer to spread. Now that the disease is widely distributed, with many unknowing coronavirus carriers in many different areas of the country, the risk of transmission is widespread.

Also, after so many months of canceled activities, economic challenges and stress, people are frustrated and tired of taking coronavirus precautions. All these are factors that are driving surges and spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Herd immunity in a community can protect from outbreaks of the disease. Infectious disease experts at The Johns Hopkins University explain that about 70% of the population needs to be immune to this coronavirus before herd immunity can work.

Without a vaccine, most doctors and scientists agree that a herd immunity approach of letting the virus “take its course” is not acceptable. Letting the coronavirus circulate freely among the public would result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more people left with lasting lung, heart, brain or kidney damage.

Researchers are currently trying to determine if, and for how long, people are immune from the coronavirus after recovering from COVID-19. If it turns out that immunity only lasts for a while, people could get COVID-19 again, resulting in even more death and disability.

Doctors, clinics and hospitals recognize that more COVID-19 surges are likely to occur. They are working with manufacturers to stock up on equipment, and they are continuing their policies for protecting patients and staff members.

Here’s what we can do now:

Continue to practice COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancinghand-washing and mask-wearing.

Stay in touch with local health authorities, who can provide information if COVID-19 cases begin to increase in our city or town.

Here are some important precautions recommend by ICMR, New Delhi :

  1. Postpone travel abroad for 2 years.
  2. Do not eat outside for 1year.
  3. Do not go unnecessary marriage or other similar ceremony.
  4. Do not take unnecessary travel trips.
  5. Do not go to a crowded place for at least 1year.
  6. Completely follow Social distancing norms.
  7. Stay away from a person who has cough.
  8. Keep the face mask on.
  9. Be very careful in the current one week.
  10. Do not let any mess around you.
  11. Prefer vegetarian foods.
  12. Do not go to the cinema hall, Mall, crowded market for six months now, if possible park, party etc should also avoided.
  13. Increase immunity.
  14. Be very careful while at Barber shop or at Beauty Salon parlour.
  15. Avoid unnecessary meetings, always keep in mind social distancing.
  16. The threat of ‘Corona’is not to end soon.
  17. Don’t wear belt, rings, wrist watch when you go out. Watch is not required. Your mobile has got time.
  18. No handkerchief, take sanitizer and tissue if required.
  19. Don’t bring shoes into your home. Leave them outside.
  20. Clean your hands and legs when you come back from outside.
  21. When you feel you have come nearer to a suspected patient take a thorough bath.

*Lock down or no lock down next 6 months to 12 months follow these precautions.

Dr. Tapashi Gupta

Dr. Tapashi Gupta, Associate professor (Retd), Department of Zoology (HOD), Lumding College, Assam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *