Even though the first wave of this horrific pandemic is still very much with us, many public health professionals are warning that there could be a second wave – and this one could be even worse than the first! Here are my thoughts on what could contribute to bringing about a second wave and what we can do to minimise the impact.
In America, over 5 million people have been infected and over 120,000 have sadly passed away from Covid-19. So it’s no surprise that there is a very possible risk that this virus could peak again. This is indeed something that public leaders must prepare for, and proactively take steps to prevent or minimise the impact.
We’ve witnessed the difference in how Governors have proceeded – mostly in a data/science orientated way – while others have prioritised their personal or political agenda. While others have shown very little leadership at all.
With that in mind, I’ve considered four possible factors that might impact the severity of a second wave.
1. Public behaviour
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a vast difference in the way people have listened and responded to the advice of the Government. Some have opened their eyes to the necessities of minimising the spread of infection: washing and sanitising hands regularly, social distancing, wearing a mask in public.
Others reject the government recommendations, and I’ve heard many reasons why: “it’s not necessary”, “I won’t catch the virus”, “it’s a hoax”, “it’s only a flu”.
If the majority of the public is ready and willing to adhere to the guidelines and take more care and consideration, I believe the impact of any second wave would be drastically reduced.
2. The Valve Approach
The so-called “valve” approach refers to the phased plan to reopen all businesses. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, often explains his reasoning to reopening business in the state to a “valve” in a water pipe. The concept means that by phasing-in the opening of businesses one notch at a time, one can evaluate the data and impact before proceeding, if it is wise to do so.
Other states across America have taken a more haphazard approach to reopening and thus far also seen a surge of infections. Cuomo has said: New York went from worst to first, for several reasons, but primarily because of this phased approach and that New Yorkers have effectively listened and co-operated with the safety guidelines.
3. Public Health vs. Politics
Unfortunately, in the US public officials often proceed based on their personal and political agendas, serving their self-interest above the greater good.
We need selfless leadership, which recognises that public health and safety are the top priority. Beware of any leader who seems to equate short-term, economic concerns with health.
4. Populism vs. Ramifications
How many times have we already witnesses crowds of people, seemingly bored with self-isolation, disregard common sense? And when the President articulates a populist message, minimising the severity and risk of this pandemic, it’s unsurprising that people ignore the social distancing advice.
Are leaders luring us into a false sense of security?
First, we must take care of the first-wave, before we can take viable actions towards minimising the potential danger of a second wave.
What do you think?
How do you think the UK government and public has handled the pandemic compared to the US? Have you been adhering to lockdown guidelines? Will you be going out to shops or pubs on 4th July? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below or write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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