This article was written by an anonymous contributor. Thank you for writing this, you know who you are this is an incredible piece. God Bless you all. Prepare, practice, persevere.
A 2nd Wave? America Will Likely See COVID-19 Return for the 2020-2021 Flu Season
The year 2020 started off normally enough for Americans. There were parties across the country as everyone rang in the New Year, and also, a brand-new decade. People popped their celebratory champagne bottles, toasted the New Year, and watched the fireworks with their family and friends.
After the New Year celebrations ended, Americans continued to go about their daily lives. They went to work every day. They attended their kid’s sporting events. They helped their kids with their homework. They went grocery shopping and ran their normal everyday errands. Life just went on as normal.
What most Americans had no idea about, however, was about 7,200 miles away in the city of Wuhan, China a virus was spreading rapidly that most Americans weren’t paying much attention to. This virus was China’s problem, and they had to figure it out! The virus didn’t concern the US, so no one bothered to pay attention to the fact that it even existed.
Well, little did most Americans know that within just a few months, this virus would skip all the way from China to America, all while changing life as we know it, forever. Now, 2020 is shaping up to be a year like we have never lived before. It has shaken America to its core, challenged our values, changed our way of life, and tested the limits of human sanity and compassion in many ways.
All of this, and it’s not going to be over any time soon.
The Beginnings of the COVID-19 Pandemic in America
Frankly, most Americans felt that they had better things to do than to think that the “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” would ever make it to America’s shores, much less spread like wildfire throughout the entire country.
However, the coronavirus hit the US shores with shocking speed as the first case of the virus was confirmed on January 21st in Washington State in a Snohomish County male who was said to be in his 30s. No specific information was given specifically about the person, who was later said to have made a full recovery, but this case of the virus was only the first of a mind-blowing number that would be reported throughout the US in the coming months.
Cases slowly trickled in over the coming days and weeks, but a full-blown outbreak still seemed like a only a distant (not very real) possibility to the great majority of Americans. Even the government downplayed the threat of the coronavirus spreading throughout the United States, despite top health officials repeatedly warning that problems were coming if we didn’t act, and act fast.
The situation continued to escalate over the coming days and weeks. Seemingly out of nowhere far as most Americans were concerned, Trump declared a National Emergency on March 13th, which would free up funding for the virus and the consequential problems that would arise from its spread. As $50 billion was funneled into efforts fighting against the virus, this was the first real “wake-up call” to America that this virus was about to be serious here in the United States. Yet, still, many Americans shrugged it off and went about their daily lives.
The Very Surreal Day When It All “REALLY” Began
The true reality of what we were about to experience still didn’t hit home for many Americans. Most Americans (including myself) did not expect that our lives were about to change forever. We were naïve and oblivious as to what was to come. What unfolded next seemed like a movie to most Americans. It was like waking up in a bad nightmare. A nightmare that we all want to see end as quickly as possible. However, this nightmare is our new reality. It won’t end anytime soon. We should not expect it to, either!
This nightmare started on Monday, March 16th, 2020 when Americans turned on their TV sets to find President Donald Trump pushing the panic button on the coronavirus situation. From there, a flurry of school cancellations, statewide lockdowns, and restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people became the new reality for the almost 97% of Americans who would soon be living under lockdown orders. Only the sparsely populated states of Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, & Wyoming.
These states have a variety of different “reasons” for not shutting down or locking down the state entirely. The reasons include not wanting to ruin the economy and not wanting to take away jobs. Others state that their residents understand the severity of what is happening and that wearing a mask and social distancing while out in public will work just as well. Lastly, others are concerned about infringing on their resident’s rights, freedoms, and liberties.
Thus, people’s lives as they knew them changed practically (or at least what felt like) overnight. One day people were living their lives and going about their business, and within a matter of days millions of people found themselves out of jobs as their businesses closed and they were told to “stay home” to save the lives of their fellow Americans who were considered “vulnerable” to the coronavirus.
Over the coming weeks, what would unfold in America might seem like something out of a movie like Contagion, however, this time, it is real life. In the next six weeks, the US would watch many cities and states “peak” in coronavirus cases for the current wave that we are n ow experiencing. However, just because the first wave “peaked” doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet. Far from it. In fact, the worst might still be yet to come, which is something most Americans still haven’t come to realize.
As we close out the month of April, the United States has topped one million (1,000,000) cases of coronavirus, done over five million (5,000,000) tests, and lost over 55,000 innocent, irreplaceable American lives to the virus.
The American People Face a New Reality
All of this has left the American people to grapple with facing a very new reality from what they are used to. Lockdowns. Stay-at-home orders. Social distancing. Stimulus checks. Closed businesses. Financial hardships. A downturn in the economy. Cancelled events. A country that has been brought to its knees by 55,000 COVID-19 deaths in the past five weeks, and many more surely to come.
While this new reality takes hold and the US struggles to get daily new case numbers to stay under 30,000, a stark, new reality is being discussed. One that many Americans haven’t even paid attention to, or one that many want to deny is even possible. A second wave of the virus that might hit come the fall and winter of 2020 into 2021, essentially during the next flu season.
Experts say that this “2nd wave” of sorts is almost inevitably coming the way of the US. Some suggest that the impending “2nd wave” might be far more deadly than the first was. This is similar to what happened during the Spanish Flu of 1918! The first wave of illness was nowhere near as deadly as the second, yet Americans are so fixated on “getting back to normal” (which isn’t happening any time soon) that they merely dismiss this is an assistant possibility, when in fact it’s very likely that this “2nd wave” will become a reality in the US either in the late fall of 2020 or into the spring of 2021.
Will this mean more lockdowns? Will we get put under stricter lockdowns? Will this induce civil unrest and more protests? Will the government be forced to put martial law into place in some states or even throughout the entire country? Will the military have to step in to help handle the outbreak? Will food shortages run rampant? Will the economy stay open next time which would allow coronavirus to spread completely unchecked throughout the United States?
There are many unanswered questions, but the truth is that we simply don’t know what the impending, likely “2nd wave” will bring to the United States. It’s too early to tell how it will play out. We need to be preparing, but sadly many Americans don’t feel that way! They just want to or think this will “end” someday as quickly as it appeared. The reality is that that’s not going to happen.
Many Americans don’t even seem to realize that this “2nd wave” is a possibility as they are either too busy watching Netflix or just impatiently waiting and thinking that things will get “back to normal” when that simply won’t be happening any time soon.
China’s “2nd Wave” Begins: Harbin Locks Down
China is beginning to experience the start of a “2nd wave” of coronavirus cases as they notice an outbreak of cases in the northern Chinese city of Harbin. The outbreak in Harbin was allegedly started by a 22-year-old female New York University (NYU) student known as “Han” (for printing purposes). “Han” went through a 14-day quarantine who studies at a University in the city who was asymptomatic at the time and spread the virus through a neighborhood gathering where she was unknowingly carrying the disease.
Since then, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials claim that “Han” unknowingly infected more than 70 people with COVID-19 before they were able to trace the infection back to having originated with “Han”. To stop the spread from going throughout China further, the Chinese government has placed the entire city of Harbin, which is over 10 million people, on complete lockdown until further notice.
The lockdown measures entail that no one from outside the city/village will be allowed to enter and that no one inside the village may leave. To go out of their homes or apartments, residents will have to show their health code, wear a mask, and have a temperature check to enter or exit the premises.
Reportedly, all public gatherings of any type including funerals, weddings, etc. have reportedly been banned indefinitely.
Neighbors are also encouraged to turn in noncompliant neighbors. If someone turns in someone who is noncompliant, they may be eligible for up to a 3000-yuan reward (equivalent to $423.62).
China’s tough measures are to keep the “2nd waves” of the coronavirus at bay after they were able to largely get rid of the deadly virus throughout the country with their strict lockdown tactics. Other cases in the area are reported as “import cases” which means people are coming from outside of China. China is serious about keeping the virus at bay until a vaccination is found, especially throughout the Heilongjiang area where the virus originated.
Health Experts Believe America Will Definitely See a “2nd Wave”
As many Americans become enthralled with their favorite Netflix series or spend all day mindlessly watching videos on YouTube, experts are already sounding the alarm that a “2nd Wave” of the coronavirus is almost inevitable in the fall of 2020 and into the winter of 2021. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has already warned that this outbreak could hit the US harder and be far deadlier than the current outbreak which has already killed 60,000 Americans (at the time of writing this article).
The biggest problem is that the next big outbreak could coincide with the flu season, which could cause hospitals to be even more strained than they are now. The reality is that hospitals could easily run out of beds as well as critical supplies that are used to treat patients with both flu and COVID-19 illnesses, especially if both outbreaks hit at once.
One key to keeping this from happening will be keeping up some restrictions and social distancing throughout the summer months. Hard as it is, by practicing certain measures of social distancing such as wearing masks and limiting the capacity of public places like restaurants and shopping centers, we hope to keep the spread a minimum after the lockdowns end. However, other measures will be relaxed that allow people to enjoy their summer plans including vacations.
It’s not that the next wave of COVID-19 will be worse or more widespread than this one (although that does remain a real possibility if we are not vigilant in the summer months), but having it hit at the same time as the flu season can magnify the strain put on our healthcare system. That combination of both coronavirus and flu season could put many cities into a healthcare crisis, the likes of which many modern hospitals have never seen.
The fall and winter outbreak might be even worse if it coincides with the flu season. Together, it could create a one-two punch that causes hospitals and health care facilities to become quickly overrun with patients. Taking the warnings now and increasing COVID-19 testing as well as the number of hospital beds that we have available to treat sick patients can help us avoid a crisis in the upcoming fall and winter.
Given that so much is unknown about why and how this may come back in the fall, businesses will have no choice but to open with caution. Strict measures such as social distancing, limited capacities, and wearing masks will have to be key ingredients of reopening America for businesses successfully, while still trying to keep the risk of a second wave to a minimum.