As communities and states begin to reopen their economies as part of the coronavirus recovery, it’s important for all of us to continue to take precautions and remain diligent. Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are still at high risk. As much as we would like all of this to be over, now is not the time to relax our own individual precautions.
While many businesses, restaurants, schools, churches, recreation facilities and other establishments begin the process of reopening and the number of people allowed to gather in one place increases, the reported cases of COVID-19 are skyrocketing. Many states, especially those in the south and west — such as Arizona, Texas, Florida and California — are reporting new daily cases surpassing the previous highs reported in April.
In testifying before members of Congress on Tuesday, White House health adviser Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called this a “disturbing surge” and said that the next two weeks will be critical to slowing the outbreaks. He also warned that it’s impossible to anticipate the dynamics of a possible second wave of infection in the fall, with Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noting that the cold weather, people gathering indoors and flu season present additional risks in the months ahead.
The CDC reminds us that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There is currently no vaccine to prevent it. It is thought to spread mainly by person-to-person contact between those who are in close contact with each other (within about six feet). The coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, producing respiratory droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, and they can possibly be inhaled into the lungs.