[Originally posted in May 2020]. As the author of a Corona Pandemic novel back in 2010, and as a biologist, I’m both shocked and fascinated by the current pandemic. We are all confronted with so much data, so much information, that it is very hard to keep track of the status and to get a clear picture on the reality of this pandemic. Like you, I try to stay informed about the latest trends and news, and would like to share a few useful links that I came across.
Will there be a second wave of the pandemic?
We all hope that this won’t occur, but the truth is that most experts seem to think this may well happen, as summarized in this Guardian article. The key argument lies in the parallels to other epidemics, for instance the 1917/1918 flu pandemic. See the second graph “Three pandemic waves: weekly combined influenza and pneumonia mortality” in this wikipedia article.
A second wave should not be mistaken with spikes in the first wave: it occurs much later (e.g. in the fall) and can be much more dramatic than the first wave.
What also raised my attention was a recent politico poll: “Nearly three-quarters of Americans say worst is still to come from coronavirus,” which sharply contradicts some of the statements made by some US leaders. In this case “swarm intelligence” senses more than some politicians.
For your consideration: on the one hand, a second or third wave isn’t a ‘global’ thing, striking with similar strength in all countries. A second wave will occur localized, in certain regions or countries. Dependent on the measures taking in your region, a second wave may well be avoidable. A lot depends on YOUR behavior – see my blogpost “Corona. How all of us can help to stop this Pandemic in its tracks.” I keep on repeating this like a broken record: protect yourself and others by following the guidance. Guidelines may well differ from country to country, from state to state or province to province. Optimized and flexible responses are crucial, adapted to the local situation (which may include regional social behavior: an American living in the Rocky Mountains will behave differently than an Egyptian in Cairo).
However, a second wave also depends on other nations. Why? As I pen these words, without a doubt the situations in e.g. Brazil, Russia or Africa are very worrisome. Example: Brazil: as I write these words (according to Worldometers) it officially had 87,187 cases and 6006 deaths. A high number by itself, not surprising with a president that reacted to the health crisis with a disgusting “So what?“. Unofficially, Brazil likely has 12 times more coronavirus cases than official count. Certainly, any country can block all travel from such countries, and that is probably a good thing to do. But NO border is water tight! If the pandemic rages through Latin America, Russia and Africa, we will be affected by it, both from a healthcare and economic perspective.
Here a selection of links that I found interesting:
- From NHK World -Japan. “The latest research reveals how tiny droplets carrying the virus can remain in the air for some time.” Very informative! It shows how droplets (potentially loaded with viruses and bacteria) stay air born for a long time, and why ventilating your room is so important.
- The Etiquette Of Social Distancing: How To Deal With 5 Common Scenarios. What to do if you enter an elevator? How to behave when jogging? How to deal with an “aisle crowder“?
- “Laura Spinney: What Does The 1918 Flu Teach Us About Our Response To Pandemics?” Insights into from a Charley Chaplin premiere.
Some of my previous posts:
- The Corona Pandemic. A View from the Edge.
- Search my blog for all Corona Pandemic-related information