This trend doesnt look good.
The US has entered its 3rd — and possibly largest — wave of coronavirus cases. Experts say states should 'pull back.'
19 hours ago
Medical workers in Florida test a person for the coronavirus on July 22.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
- The US has entered its third wave of coronavirus infections. New cases are spiking in the Midwest.
- Public-health experts worry this wave could be the largest, and perhaps deadliest, yet.
- A surge in cases and hospitalizations was expected, they added, since lockdowns have lifted, people are spending more time indoors, and "pandemic fatigue" has set in.
Seventeen US states have reported more new coronavirus cases in the past week than in any week prior. The country's seven-day average of new cases has risen about 25% since October 1, with the number of new cases climbing in 41 states over the past two weeks. The US is now seeing an average of more than 50,000 cases per day.
"I'm not a doomsday person: but this is the beginning of the wave," Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine physician at Brown University, wrote Thursday on Twitter.
Indeed, the US has entered its third major wave of infections — one experts worry could wind up being the largest. The reason, they say, is a combination of factors: Lockdown measures have lifted, more people are spending time indoors as weather gets cold, residents are feeling fatigued by safety measures, and cases never dropped sufficiently.
"If the rates never get that low, and basic public-health measures are not universally adopted, and then you bring people indoors to share a meal together, you're kind of putting together the perfect storm," Ingrid Katz, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, told Business Insider. "Unfortunately this was completely anticipated."
Indeed, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted in August that more than 20 states would need to reimpose lockdown measures before December, including closing nonessential businesses and reinstating stay-at-home orders. Their model predicted at least 175,000 more people in the US could die from now through February 1. That would make this third wave the deadliest yet.
"The infections that will fill our hospital in 2 weeks have already been transmitted," Ranney said. "Wear a mask and get ready to hunker down again."