Is This the Second Wave?

Have you been tracking the statistics? I keep a daily tally of the newly diagnosed cases and deaths in my planner. The triple-digit increases in cases each day signals a clear warning…this isn’t over yet! Some writers and healthcare workers are now saying, “Here it is! This is the second wave.” Could they be right? I don’t think so. What we are seeing are the anticipated results of opening up the economy…the second wave still lies before us.

Risk assessment is becoming ever more important if you do not want to contract the virus or if you are protecting loved ones from exposure. Here are the caveats you need to keep in mind now, while you can be preparing for the second wave:

Social distancing works. The proverbial six feet, however, may not. Singing projects infected droplets that affect both the choir and the listeners. A recent Washington outbreak featured the Mt. Vernon choir, which ended up infecting 78% of its members when they met to rehearse.  Emory Health Care suggests keeping a distance of ten feet from others when singing. The key here is, keep more distance.

Be wary of social gatherings. Starved for companionship and a sense of normalcy, weary people sick of being quarantined exploded out of containment, and without regard to the effect of their actions. Research on the spread of COVID-19 suggests that we entered June well below any index for herd immunity. Pockets of infection are spreading rapidly. Self-quarantine is a good method for limiting your family’s exposure. Choose activities with smaller numbers in attendance. Choose outdoor activities. Choose activities that respect social distancing. This is not the time to let down your guard. It’s time for thinking, rational people to become more vigilant.

Mask up. Countries that employed universal masking cut the virus off dramatically. It is disappointing our people have rejected the voice of reason as a body, but they may yet be forced to wear masks everywhere. Be ready for such a time by having masks on hand. Be a good example and wear your mask indoors in public now, and protect those around you.

Step away from the narrative. The media splashes provocative headlines to sell newspapers, but you don’t need to buy them. Any narrative that encourages you to abandon reason and act without regard for safety is not a narrative you need to be embraced. My old mother’s much-worn maxim of If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off too? applies more than ever. Be wise. Be rational. Any narrative that runs counter to what you know to be true is not a narrative you need to embrace.

Be an ant, not a grasshopper. This is a great time to replace depleted stores, stock up on essentials. If we see a second wave, it will most likely emerge in the fall. According to the CDC, the coronaviruses have historically subsided during warm summer months. Here’s the question you need to address: if we are seeing an uptick in the number of new cases now, what do you think we’ll be seeing in September? Next week we’ll delve into Disaster Preparedness 101, but for now, be developing that mindset of the ant, who is never caught by surprise.

Remember that your preparation is for your family, extended family, and neighbors. We live in communities and despite the narrative so prevalent today, remember that your neighbors are not your enemies. We are all cut from the same cloth. Work together.