Second Wave – Is It Coming?
At time of writing the UK has had between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths from Covid-19. This is tragic and recriminations about whether lockdown should have started sooner (yes doh, of course it should!) will no doubt start after we’re over the worst of it. But whilst we all realise the importance of protecting our struggling NHS against a second wave (another rise / increase in infections) and keeping the R number below 1 and so on I can’t help wondering why the media keep on with the same narrative, even after they’ve been proven to be wrong on at least 3 separate occasions.
Wales has seen 2,317 deaths involving coronavirus (to date) but since the peak (roughly, the middle of April) numbers of infections (and deaths) have thankfully been falling. However, the media told us that due to the VE Day celebrations, when many street parties in glorious weather all over the country resulted in people breaching lockdown in favour of a few beers and social interaction, we would see a huge rise again in cases in two weeks time. Guess what? We didn’t.
They then told us that there would be another outbreak due to the non-socially distancing demonstrations in London when the anti-lockdown protests occurred. Two weeks later… Nope, numbers still falling.
And let’s not forget the ‘Cummings effect‘ where thousands of people all over the UK said, ‘Bugger it, if that arrogant fool can break lockdown so can I.’
And finally, what about #BLM and the thousands of idiots not socially distancing but gathering in their thousands (with their kids) all over the country to protest about a black criminal being killed in the US. Crazy I know. Especially since many of these people don’t want to send their kids back to school ‘cos it’s too dangerous – yeh right! Yep, once again the media warned us that this would result in a second wave. No sign of one yet…
The incubation period for Covid-19 is five to seven days, up to 14 days. So we should start seeing a huge spike in new cases occurring in the next few days if the media are right. Time will tell but I’m willing to bet there won’t be.
But, here’s the thing, if cases don’t rise over the coming week or so (especially as shops opened today in England as well) then are we missing something? Maybe more of us are immune than we thought? Maybe the virus has mutated to make it less contagious or dangerous? Maybe the warmer weather is having an effect? Maybe the media / government is lying to us? Maybe the media are just plain stupid and don’t get the differing scientific views?
They say if you repeat something long enough people will start to believe it. Well this is certainly true of a second wave. We have been told it is inevitable, but what if it isn’t?
This expectation has directed most of our strategy, as well as being used to ensure compliance in the population. Sars and Mers (thankfully) never had second waves.
Some scientists say we won’t have one. In Europe, where Covid-19 cases have also been decreasing, France, Denmark and others have eased lockdown well in advance of the UK, and there are no indications of a second wave yet. Yes there have been outbreaks, but nothing like the soaring rates we have been warned about. Switzerland reopened schools and restaurants on May 11 and has not seen a peak since lockdown measures eased.
What if the second wave will only happen in winter? What if the virus mutates and gets worse? Shouldn’t we be testing for immunity and using plasma more?
There are other coronaviruses that infect humans and this one may well be with us for a long time. Without a vaccine do we just stay in forever or should we start to just get on with it?