Let’s consider concerns you may have about the expected COVID-19 fall surge. That’s right. We’re expecting a surge. The pandemic is only about halfway through it’s expected duration. We don’t think it’ll end until an effective vaccine is developed or until about 70% of the population has been infected. Let’s admit that relative to decreasing the load of the virus causing COVID-19 throughout American communities, we’ve had a disappointing summer. It’s time to turn the corner. This Straight, No Chaser discusses the various factors that we should consider for what comes next.
COVID-19 Fall Surge Concerns to Consider
Schools are open.
It is younger people fueling the late summer and COVID-19 fall surge – not the elderly or immunocompromised, who are still considered high-risk. Dr. Fauci says many younger Americans, who typically have milder cases, have a “lack of appreciation” for the “dual responsibility” they have in keeping themselves safe so they can keep others safe.
Businesses are open.
It is still part of our concern that “essential workers” are too often those at the highest risks for bad outcomes from COVID-19. Our inability to provide sufficient prevention, testing and treatment poses the same risks now as they did months ago. This didn’t go away with the summer and will increase when folks are forced to travel and work within enclosed spaces amongst others.
Unemployment is still high.
Let’s acknowledge the effects of mental health. Unemployment in upwards of 50 million Americans will continue to take a toll.
Approximately 150,000 American families are mourning the loss of a loved one.
Again, stress comes in many forms. The trigger of death in our families and around us will linger and deteriorate our mental health as things expand in the fall. Lend a hand to a friend or neighbor.
Preventive efforts are not being ideally utilized.
If we continue along our current trend, people will continue to get sick, eventually needing hospitalization. If hospital beds are still being used for COVID-19 when influenza hits, there will not be enough space for both influenza patients and coronavirus patients seeking medical care—which would likely cause the death rate to rise.
Influenza is both an independent killer and a co-conspirator with COVID-19.
This combination likely will place a tremendous burden on the health care system. This includes bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety.
There still is no effective treatment.
There is no effective preventive treatment. The efforts being made are for patients at death’s doorstep. This is not an effective approach to lessening disease burden.
There still is no effective vaccine.
Despite the ongoing discussions, the presence of a vaccine available for the general public isn’t likely to occur until the first or second quarter of 2021. Even so, surveys are suggesting that less than a quarter of Americans are inclined to take one, even if approved. Failures to be ready for the COVID-19 fall surge will limit public confidence moving forward. Don’t think this pandemic has normalized! Let’s stay ahead of the upcoming dangers of the COVID-19 fall surge. Know better. Do better. Be better.