Coronavirus cases are rising with a second wave


Photo courtesy of: The New Yorker

Benjaman Raeburn, Copy editor

Over the past month, a second wave of coronavirus has swept throughout Europe, leaving hospitals packed, lockdowns in effect, and many apprehensive that the U.S. is next. Despite previous speculation about the lethality of the second  wave, the new influx of cases in Europe have been filling hospitals to their max, even incapacitating medical staff in poorer countries. Further, in the U.S. coronavirus cases skyrocket as winter approaches, ready to facilitate the coronavirus with dry, crisp air and indoor activities. 

Speculation about a second wave first arose in August when Spain experienced a intrusion of Coronavirus cases- more than twice the rate in the U.S, according The New York Times– two months after exiting a strict lockdown. This explanation seems only to be validated as much of Europe is now incurring a stark increase in cases: Spain reaches over 1,000,000 cases, France is nearly there, and the U.K. is only 200,00 off. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Europe has well over five-million cases and has doubled their cases in a brief period of ten days. Attempting to curb this flood of cases, plenty of European countries, including Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K., have enacted regional lockdowns and curfews. 

Some speculated that a second wave of the Coronavirus would be harmless due to previous exposure, however, the reverse is proven true with the severe use of hospitalizations. According to the ECDC, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Bulgaria have all seen hospitalization rates double those they saw in spring at the beginning of the pandemic. Larger countries, such as the U.K. and France, undergo hospitalization rates approximately a third of spring’s. Bruno Ciancio, the head of disease surveillance at the ECDC, claims these hospitalization rates are a prime example of the virus’s severity. 

Across the broad Atlantic, things are equally as pessimistic. In the U.S., doctors, such as Sparrow Hospital President Alan Vierling, observe an analogous rise of cases and hospitalization. Running from his recent experiences as a hospital president, Vierling concerningly notes, “Michigan is full, hospitals are full, we are full of patients.” Unfortunately, Michigan is not alone in their struggles- the whole of America is in this quagmire. On Thursday October 23, The Washington Post reported the highest record of daily cases since the start of the pandemic with over 81,400 new infections surpassing the previous record set amidst the chaos of July. 

In both continents, Europe and America, cases are headed for the stars and doctors predict only worse with the arrival of winter and the indoor season. Because of this, it is time more than ever to be responsible and cautious by wearing masks, social distancing, and following safety guidelines.