• Beau Steward

This Is Not A Second Wave

I keep seeing headlines that say we're seeing a second wave of COVID-19 infections. I have a problem with this. Calling this a second wave implies the first one ended. It didn't. We just stopped talking about it for a little while because something more important hit the news.

If you look at the data, we saw infections stop increasing for a little while. Then, before the rate started decreasing, the state (Texas, if you don't know where I am) started opening up. Because we need our Memorial Day barbecues. Then something major happened that sparked major protests. Approximately 2 weeks after we started opening up, we started to see infection rates increase again. And now we're seeing record infection numbers.

Let me reiterate: We started opening up before the infection rate started declining. We started opening up before one could logically call a first wave could end.

Texas is full of bull headed people. As our leaders are leading by example by not taking this pandemic seriously, we have people in this state refusing to take it seriously. I am all for opening up our economy, but it can ONLY happen if people take it seriously.

So our leaders said go back to work, and let about 25% of your normal capacity of public in. Masks are optional, but recommended. And they said this while refusing to wear masks, so what do you expect to happen?

If you think a small dip is a sign of a wave ending, then you're nuts.This chart, from focusdailynews.com, shows just how small that dip is:

There's a comment I heard that summarizes things nicely:

Relaxing stay at home orders doesn't mean the end of the pandemic, it means there's room in the ICU.

If we continue down this path, we won't need a second wave. Infection will just hit everyone in a single wave. And a lot of people will die. This isn't a problem of "well it's just a tiny portion of the population, so why are we overreacting?" This is a problem of available hospital beds. Hospitals don't keep a bed available for everyone in the population. Only for a small percentage. If they're filled with COVID-19 patients, there's less, or no room for other emergencies. It's not just a risk of dying from COVID-19, it's a risk of dying because you can't get the care you need.

This isn't the second wave. The first wave never ended. And we won't see an end to it until we have vaccines if we don't fucking take it seriously.

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