By: Tanya Wadekar (Correspondent)
Warmer weather and protests are drawing large crowds to Boston prompting officials to remind people to wear masks and to continue practicing social distancing to prevent a second wave of COVID 19.
“I think that there are still too many people not wearing masks. As the weather gets nicer, it’s going to really come down to individuals,” said Walsh.
Steve Annear and Dugan Arnett, journalists from the Boston Globe say that crowds are drawn to Boston. Locals, in fear for their health and safety, flooded the BOS:311 system with complaint calls requesting stricter reinforcements for the recommendations to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Lots of people sitting on benches near others, sunbathing and breaking social distancing rules at constitution beach,” a local said in a complaint given Sunday when temperatures were reaching the mid-70’s. “Please block off benches to remind people they shouldn’t be socializing at this time,” they added.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston says that he senses the potential for people breaking quarantine recommendations due to warm weather and summer months approaching here in New England.
Dr. Ellie Murray, an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, says that she understands why people want to leave their homes after a long winter, followed by two months of isolation. But she added that even though going outside is important, residents should still be adhering to social distancing guidelines, which will most probably still be in place for months.
“What makes it really challenging for people is when the message that’s coming is, ‘Oh, it’ll be another week, another two weeks,’” said Murray. “I think the messaging that people need to hear is, ‘Whatever happens with your job in the coming months, the [social distancing measures are] going to need to stay in place for the whole summer, if not the fall.’”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that the second wave of COVID-19 is inevitable in the coming fall.
“I’m almost certain it will come back because the virus is so transmissible and it’s globally spread,” said Fauci during an Economic Club of Washington webinar earlier this week.
Americans could be in for “a bad fall and a bad winter” if the country is unprepared, added Fauci.
Nicole Chavez, a journalist for CNN, says that the second wave of the novel coronavirus will hit us around flu season, which already affects the U.S. tremendously.
“It appears that the novel coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months. The CDC estimates there were at least 39 million cases of the flu in the US and at least 24,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 season,” said Chavez.
Mike Osterholm, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) director, says that there are many different scenarios about the course this pandemic is going to take, but the worst outcome is one similar to the second wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic.
“This thing’s not going to stop until it infects 60 to 70 percent of people,” said Osterholm in an interview with CNN.
Many health experts say that the upcoming months, as the curve is flattening, is a good time to stock up and prepare for a potential second wave of the virus.
“Hospitals and clinics should replenish their stocks of personal protective equipment and testing supplies. People should try to get healthier if possible, continue using face masks for the time being and keep gatherings to no more than 10 people,” said Chavez. In these upcoming months, we should all continue to follow the coronavirus safety recommendations and keep in mind that warmer weather does not mean the end of COVID-19.