Staying Safe From The Second Wave COVID-19
When we observe countries with a larger infection rate of COVID-19 cause by the SARS-Cov-2 virus a few months earlier, but now they are giving relief in lockdowns and easing restrictions regarding the pandemic; the other countries who have skillfully controlled the virus are concerned about the possibility to have a second wave of this infection with supposedly more powerfully than the previous one. However, the vaccine is also out for people and is also being given to different groups of people sequentially in different countries. Yet, we still have an impending danger of a vast spread.
This is because the vaccine is limited, and countries developing it prioritize their residents first. Those countries that are getting it as a donation from China have also prioritized its distribution step-by-step. Firstly for the frontline workers and the senior citizens. After that, the authorities will provide it to the general public.
Lockdown a Threat to economy
Many countries worldwide are showing leniency in the lockdown as they are equally worried about their economic conditions. So, they reopened businesses, including China and the US, fearing that the lockdown may not cause widespread unemployment and hunger among the less privileged civilians, especially small businesses and daily wagers.
China’s Efficient COVID-19 Strategies and Effects of Lockdown Ease
We all know how efficiently China contained the virus and respond to the disastrous situation. It was the first one to experience this infectious disease with a high fatality rate. Although it’s been a long time suppressing the pandemic but still relaxing lockdown caused jumps in corona cases in China. That indeed is a big challenge, keeping up the economic conditions stable while restricting the virus. The rise in the COVID-19 cases in Beijing had incited fear of the second wave of this respiratory disease that emerged in Wuhan’s central city in late 2019.
Pakistan’s COVID-19 Policy: Partial Lockdown with Strict SOPs
The south Asian countries that are India and Pakistan, are also feared of having a powerful backfire of the pandemic due to the reopening of the business activities. However, Pakistan has fought the first wave very well and still minimizing the number of patients by strictly following the SOPs. People and businesses are bound to follow the SOPs; otherwise, authorities will take severe actions against the individual or the business that violates the rules.
Lockdown in India: COVID-19 Backfires
India received a powerful surge due to a sudden lockdown and the panic caused by it in the first wave; however, they successfully contained the figures. But they experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases when they reopened the businesses and eased the lockdown in different cities. As a result, 10,000 new coronavirus cases emerged on 11th June 2020, causing emergency in hospitals in the worst-hit cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, and Chennai.
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness: A Logical Advice
In May 2020, the Cambridge Core published an analytical article in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. The article urges the countries considering reopening their businesses and relaxing the lockdown measures to look into the matter with a broader view. They not only should think about the rate of infection in their own country but also take account of the global situation and must base their decisions on scientific observations and outcomes. The publication suggests that all governments’ prime duty is to remain prepared for a potential second wave. Otherwise, we will have to face the consequences as history may repeat itself, just like the H1N1 flu pandemic in 1918.
What is the second wave?
The second wave is the sudden and forceful emergence of infectious disease. In this case, the number of people infected by a virus seems to be decreasing, and then it suddenly increased again among the same population or the different one with more power.
Generally, infectious diseases spread through contact between the infected and susceptible people. Whereas in the absence of controlling measures for the disease, it may outburst in a manner where the average number of infected people by a single infected person may be greater than one.
Lack of Unified Reopening Plan and Easing Lockdowns
The analytical observation shows that a series of smaller peaks occurred instead of a big wave as the coronavirus pandemic didn’t affect all the country simultaneously or in the same pattern. All of it started as some cities went to a strict lockdown and quarantine at different periods according to the severity of the virus-spread. On the other hand, some cities eased the lockdown restrictions in different phases at their own pace. The experts have strictly warned that the lack of a unified reopening plan and easing lockdown restriction may cause the COVID-19 pandemic to increase its spread. It may act as a catalyst to boost the second wave, as the people will continue traveling from highly infected areas to those where there is a lesser number of infections. Hence, this is fueling the second wave.
History Might Get Repeated: H1N1 Flu Pandemic 1918
The concerns about the follow-up waves are significant for COVID-19 as per the past experiences because it is not the first disease that struck humanity to this extent. As during the H1N1 flu pandemic, a far more fatal second wave began in the fall months in 1918. This wave followed by a third wave in the winter-spring 1919, engulfing fifty million lives in its span. COVID-19 is quite different from H1N1 flu, but it indicates that governments are required to be careful while making decisions about relax restrictions.
Why is the Second Wave is Considered more Deadly?
According to Dr, Ali Khan former director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview with a radio station, the second waves are predicted to be a mountain range rather than a big peak. It means that there could be multiple outbreaks emerging simultaneously, causing a strain on the country’s health system. Besides, he said, imposing lockdowns again will be a strike on the already sinking economy.
Flu season: A sign of Vulnerability to COVID-19
Complications in this worsen situation will start along with the flu season in the southern hemisphere that is already underway, causing a low immunity among the people due to the circulating influenza virus. And after a small period, the northern hemisphere will be having its fall and the start of the flu season. By the time both the hemispheres are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus. This is why the second wave could be more deadly in the US and different parts of the world.
Precaution, trite but still vital:
Being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the lack of medication and insufficient vaccination supply, one should acquire certain habits to keep him on the safe side. Rather than threatening the disease with carelessness, one can reduce the risk of getting infected or even being a carrier for others by following these simple steps. Follow them and let others educate about them.
- Keep listening to the national advice and guidance and continue to adhere to the public health practices.
- Do not be complacent about the hygiene; always wash hands for 20 seconds after some time and use sanitizer. Do not touch your face after touching any surface, as the virus has a range of life span on different surfaces.
- Don’t be complacent about physical distancing. Don’t shake hands, don’t hug; social distancing is necessary. Always sneeze or cough with your mouth covered with a tissue or your elbow.
- Avoid throwing big parties. Again avoid large social gatherings. If necessary, follow the SOPs laid down by the authorities.
- Wear a mask when you are in public places while keeping a distance of 6 feet.
- Avoid unnecessary traveling. Travelling may become the cause of spreading the virus; either you are infected or not, u still be a carrier for people with lower immunity.
- Don’t go out shopping if you can easily order a particular thing online. Due to the worldwide pandemic, most businesses have started their online services, e.g., restaurant, clothing brands, groceries, etc. If you can order your favorite pasta, household things, or a custom jacket online with ease, so why going out.
Keeping things in Balance:
It is obvious that the governments around the world are equally concerned about their deflating economy and to subdue the persistent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there is a dire need for a perfect balance between them.
Strong government leadership is needed to manage the current situation along with a proactive COVID-19 strategy to suppress the virus when easing the lockdowns and opening-up businesses. As discussed above, several businesses are highly affected by the pandemic, so it’s crucial to relax lockdowns to alleviate the economic damage, but with proper care and management. Otherwise, a mismanage post-lockdown strategy can create chaos, which can lead us to an uncontrollable condition.