Is a second wave of coronavirus coming? That is what we all know to date

Is a second wave of coronavirus coming? That is what we all know to date


As companies start reopening and stay-at-home orders are slowly lifted, many specialists warn that coronavirus infections may start to extend because of this.

James Martin/CNET

For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO web site.

As lockdown restrictions start to ease throughout the US and world wide, some well being specialists and world leaders fear {that a} second wave of coronavirus infections will hit as folks come into nearer contact than they’ve in weeks. 

Some public well being specialists say it is too quickly to reopen companies and societies, suggesting {that a} resurgence is probably going. Others argue that cities should reopen to hold the financial system afloat, and that protecting well being measures will curb the coronavirus transmission in eating places, faculties, malls and on planes.

The total extent of short-term and long-term results of the coronavirus, and the COVID-19 illness it causes, are nonetheless unknown, together with how lengthy you might be immune after you get well and if it is attainable to turn into reinfected. It additionally is not clear how authorities leaders would reply to a surge in coronavirus infections, although some, like Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, have signaled that they’re going to reinstitute lockdown measures as vital. 

This story gives an summary to assist hold you knowledgeable of the present dialogue. It should replace steadily in gentle of latest and altering info offered by well being officers, world leaders and the scientific group, and isn’t supposed as a medical reference. 

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What defines a ‘second wave’ of an sickness? Can there be extra?

Usually talking, a “wave” in a pandemic is a interval of accelerating illness transmission following an total decline. At present, though circumstances of the coronavirus proceed to enhance in some elements of the US, charges of latest infections look like shrinking in different elements of the nation and many of the world, signaling a attainable finish to the primary “wave” of the pandemic. If and when an infection charges start to climb once more, that may point out the subsequent or “second wave.” The longer the pandemic goes on, the extra waves are prone to happen.

Learn extra: 7 issues to not do when coronavirus lockdown and quarantine finish


Completely different elements of the nation are lifting lockdown orders at their very own tempo, together with deciding when to open nonessential companies.

Angela Lang/CNET

A wave may be made from smaller ripples

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t affected all elements of the nation in the identical method or on the identical time. Cities and states went into lockdown and quarantine at totally different occasions, and that is additionally how the nation is beginning to get out of it, with totally different areas easing restrictions in phases and at their very own tempo.

Some well being specialists have warned the dearth of a unified reopening plan would possibly assist unfold coronavirus and may really gasoline a second wave as folks journey from the toughest hit areas to locations with far fewer infections. Ali Khan, a former CDC official, stated a second wave would possibly comprise many simultaneous, smaller outbreaks that, taken collectively, appear extra like a singular wave.

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When may the second wave of coronavirus hit?

As nations and states start to ease lockdown restrictions, well being officers across the globe are already looking out for rising an infection charges that might sign a second wave of coronavirus-related sickness. Most public well being specialists — together with the Director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illness — anticipate the subsequent large uptick to occur this fall or winter.

Why then? Flu circumstances are inclined to drop off throughout the summer season, which has led some well being specialists to hope COVID-19 circumstances go down when the climate will get hotter as effectively. Dr. Amesh Adalja, a pandemic preparedness skilled at Johns Hopkins College, instructed the Los Angeles Instances that different coronaviruses do not fare effectively throughout summer season months as a result of, as soon as outdoors the physique, each the warmer temperatures dry them out and the ultraviolet gentle from sunnier climate impacts them. 

A current research revealed within the Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal, nonetheless, provides knowledge to recommend that this explicit coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, appears impervious to temperature variations and solely barely affected by humidity. The current outbreak in Mumbai and Indonesia’s ongoing wrestle to comprise the virus spotlight how the pandemic is affecting nations throughout local weather zones, together with many areas at or close to the equator. 

It could be that fall and winter upswings may happen on account of economies reopening and other people coming into nearer contact, transmitting the an infection anew, however that reasoning is pure hypothesis and never the results of scientific research. We’ll want to attend to see what really transpires. 


Though some specialists hope the coronavirus, like different many different viruses, dissipates throughout hotter, sunnier climate, new analysis suggests temperature doesn’t have an effect on the virus. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

May the second wave be worse than the primary one?

If there’s a second coronavirus wave, the severity of the outbreak would rely on a number of components, like how effectively folks preserve social distancing and the way many individuals put on face masks. The widespread availability of assessments may additionally play a task, along with contract tracing for anybody who assessments constructive. 

For instance, a current research and laptop mannequin developed beneath De Kai, a pc scientist with appointments at each the College of California at Berkeley and Hong Kong College, proposes that if 80% of the inhabitants wore face masks in public, coronavirus transmission charges would plummet (PDF) to about 8% in comparison with carrying no masks.


Most specialists agree that widespread testing can be vital to assist curb outbreaks whereas we await a coronavirus vaccine. 

James Martin/CNET

Mainly, the extra measures there are in place to assist scale back illness transmission — and the extra successfully these measures are adopted — the decrease the an infection price would be the second time round, in line with the pc mannequin. 

Different components that might come into play are any potential genetic mutations within the coronavirus that might make it kind of transmissible, if these got here to be, the improvement of an efficient vaccine, the event of protected, efficient therapies for the COVID-19 illness and the power to check a lot of the inhabitants, even individuals who do not look like sick.

Will there be one other lockdown?

It is attainable. Selections about future quarantines are as much as authorities leaders working with well being officers, however there is a sign that the necessity may happen. 

In some elements of the world which have skilled a second wave of coronavirus infections after lifting lockdown restrictions, like Singapore, Hong Kong, the Japanese island of Hokkaido and some areas of China, lockdown measures have been reinstated to fight a second occasion of rising an infection charges. Till there’s an efficient vaccine, it is attainable that totally different elements of the world will see fluctuating levels of lockdown as governments regulate their response within the ongoing battle in opposition to the coronavirus.

Maybe probably the most urgent questions of all are what a second wave of coronavirus would possibly imply for you. This is how we predict life will take care of quarantine ends as the general public braces for a second wave. In the event you do have to depart the home, listed here are some sensible methods to remain protected once you exit. Lastly, do not unlearn all the nice habits you’ve got developed throughout the pandemic — like steadily washing your fingers.

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