Some experts have forecast a potential “second wave” of coronavirus cases and deaths next fall that may be even more devastating than the current crisis. This frightening thought means we still need to be vigilant and continue to follow safe guidelines to prevent a second pandemic.
“In my mind, it’s inevitable that we’ll have a return of the virus … when it does, how we handle it will determine our fate,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The second wave could be even more serious says Robert Redfield, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Prevention.
“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be more difficult than the one we just went through,” he said.
According to Business Insider, until a vaccine is developed, which Fauci predicts won’t be until 2021, there’s a lot we can do to lower the likelihood of severe waves in the future: washing our hands, wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing and staying home it you are sick. Don’t think about “getting back to normal,” says Prevention, but concentrate on the “new normal.”
Here are some other tips:
- Get your flu shot. While this won’t protect you against the novel coronavirus, it could reduce your risk of being hospitalized with the flu.
- Find a new way to say “hello.” People may be hesitant to give a hand shake or hug, Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease expert from Emory University Hospital, told Prevention. Now’s the time to revise your greeting by giving an air high-five or saying “namaste,” he said.
- Prepare your work and home environment. Some employees may want to discuss working remotely for the long haul, while others will move to more rural areas, away from city life, which may never be the same.
- Continue to stock up on necessary medications and food items, says Business Insider, and make changes to your lifestyle routine that include online physical activity, virtual visits with loved ones, and Zoom business meetings and social gatherings.
- Have an emergency plan in place. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, less than half of us have a plan in place to deal with a crisis, be it a viral pandemic, or an earthquake or flood. Newsmax offers a comprehensive list on how to prepare.
“Being aware and proactive is not only the sensible thing to do,” said Dr. Anthony Barile, an infectious disease specialist at Health First in Florida. “It’s empowering — not only for you and your loved ones, but for our entire nation."
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