This winter could be one of the most dangerous in recent history. COVID-19 infections have been surging lately – there have been as many as 170,405 cases on Nov. 13, according to The Covid Tracking Project -, but this surge is worse and may last longer than one may expect.
Winter and very cold weather is just around the corner in many parts of the country and is already underway in many other places around America. Many people will be stuck inside, possibly in close quarters or eating indoors in restaurants as opposed to the safer, outdoors alternative, which could lead to a spike in infections and deaths.
Many people will go into areas where it is more difficult to effectively social-distance indoors, like bars and restaurants, where it is hard to wear masks because you are drinking or eating, will be places that people will flock to. This is because places, where one can social-distance like parks and beaches, may be too cold.
Covid-19 is an airborne disease that is transmitted through tiny droplets that can be there from infected people coughing, sneezing, or even just talking. Because this disease is very contagious and can spread through the air easily, it is most safe to be outside and social distancing when doing things like eating, safely seeing friends, and many other things that may be affected by this disease because the air outside can naturally circulate, but inside buildings, the air can sit there for a very long time.
This can be something that will cause many more outbreaks and super spreader events of this deadly virus. “Currently the U.S. averages over 700 deaths a day. IHME projects it could rise to more than 2,000 a day by mid-January, rivaling the most fatal days in the spring,” according to a recent article by NPR. This projection is a huge jump up from where we are now.
There are ways to prevent super spreader events and large outbreaks. New York Times writer Elisabeth Rosenthal recently wrote an article, “Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here’s How to Save Them.” This opinion piece proposed the idea of paying bars and restaurants to close, a controversial idea. If this idea is unable to happen, then many bars and restaurants would have to take other precautions to be safe. They could have to spend serious amounts of money on heating systems and tents, which most restaurants cannot afford.
Another solution would be to simply be careful and safe. This means wearing masks when in close proximity to other people, social-distancing, and being as careful as possible if you are experiencing symptoms of this highly contagious virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with Vice, “Best game. Don’t go to a crowded place. Second best. Wear a mask if you do and you feel compelled to do it.”
In a recent The Atlantic article, “The Third Coronavirus Surge Has Arrived”, some scary statistics are given. In many midwest states, COVID-19 cases have increased by 81%, a significant and shocking increase.
As America is slowly running out of time to flatten this curve, it is more important now more than ever to wear a mask, social-distance, wash your hands and do whatever you can to keep yourself sanitary and COVID-19 free before it’s too late. Doing this will not only help yourself, but it could help millions of Americans who are staying indoors.