Public health officials and epidemiologists have warned that a second wave of coronavirus infections may arrive next fall or winter, but what if it doesn't take that long?
What if we Freedumb ourselves into another wave before the summer is over?
Officials in Arizona have told the state's hospitals to activate their contingency plans to increase their capacity because infections have spiked by 115 percent in the last four weeks. Other states across the south and west have also seen their cases rise and former officials say they're going to face some tough choices soon.
In Arizona, a “cavalier” exit from the state’s successful stay-at-home program caused the sudden case surge, said former state health chief Will Humble.
Humble said Governor Doug Ducey let Arizonans voluntarily follow Centers for Disease Control guidance but must now impose measures like mandatory face mask use inside public spaces. A failure to do so will leave Ducey with two drastic choices, he added.
“He’s going to have to either A) implement a field hospital plan, B) do another stay-at-home order, or C) both,” said Humble, head of health professionals organization the Arizona Public Health Association.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says cases have only spiked because of increased testing -- meaning we're just now seeing what was already there -- but that does not explain a dramatic increase in hospitalizations. It doesn't explain hospitals reaching their capacity and being asked to activate their plans for overflow.
Texas just saw its third straight day of record hospitalizations.
Texas health authorities said there are currently 2,153 patients sickened with Covid-19 across its hospitals, making Wednesday the third-straight day of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations in the state.
The new total is up from 2,056 patients on Tuesday and 1,935 patients Monday, according to updated data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. [...]
Texas was among the first states to relax its statewide stay-at-home order, allowing it to expire April 30 and some businesses to resume operations May 1. On June 3, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order to announce the third phase of the state’s plan to open additional businesses and activities.
I have a bad feeling about this because infections leading to hospitalization today aren't new. These infections were actually transmitted nearly a month ago.
If mass protests across the country have led to new infections, we won't see an increase in hospitalizations from that until later this month and that will be layered on top of whatever we see from reopening the economy.
It will be a relief if I'm wrong because I don't want to get sick or see anyone close to me get sick.
It probably goes without saying but if even a single state is forced to go back into lockdown it would have significant implications for economic activity nationwide.