What Can We Really Expect Will Happen With COVID-19 Cases This Winter?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have warned about the horrors of the 1918 flu. After the first dangerous wave of infections that spring, cities and people relaxed their efforts to contain the virus and it came roaring back in the fall and winter, killing far more people.

So far, COVID-19 hasn’t behaved the same way. There was no summer break, and we’re not seeing the ebb and flow that characterized the 1918 outbreak. It’s been more like a forest fire spiking in one area while dying down in another.

But for months, public health officials have predicted one comparison would stand: We’d have a terrible winter.

The fear is that cases will rise as more people spend more time indoors, get ever more tired of public health measures, travel for the holidays, and struggle with conflicting messages from national and local leaders.

No one really knows what the next few months will bring. But as COVID-19 cases rise in 39 of 50 states, there are a few clues about what’s likely to happen, both good and bad.

Hopeful signs

First, the good news.

A coming approach to testing, with lots of inexpensive, readily available, fast tests could transform daily lives, enabling people to do the kinds of things they’ve only been able to dream about for the past eight months.

Some colleges already are showing they can keep students safe by adding regular testing to mask-wearing and social distancing. Airlines are starting to test all passengers on some flights – because who wouldn’t feel safer and be more likely to travel if they knew the person next to them wasn’t infected?

Many other activities, like meetings, dental appointments, gym visits and weddings would start to feel reasonable again if everyone could be tested on the way in.

Continue reading at USATODAY.com

 

 

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