There has been a lot of talk about a potential second or even third wave of the coronavirus during recent months. However, an official spokesperson of the World Health Organization (WHO) described COVID19 as one big wave with no evidence to suggest that it follows seasonal variations found in other coronaviruses and influenza. This goes against false beliefs people had that summer is safer and winter will bring another more deadly second wave of coronavirus.
There is no specific definition of the word second wave it has been used to mean anything between local surges of the virus to a full-blown global crisis. The problem is that the topic of 2nd wave is a contentious one which the politicians including Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister, and the media use a lot but is not rightly defined.
Margaret Harris, a spokesperson of WHO, said in a virtual briefing in Geneva that people are still thinking about seasons but they need to think that this is a new virus and it is behaving differently. She believes that vigilant measures will be required to slow the transmission of the virus which may be accelerated due to mass gatherings. She also gave a warning that there is only one wave of the virus which will be a big one and is likely to go up and down, the best thing the governments can do is to flatten the wave, according to her.
Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh Linda Bauld said that the second wave is not an ideal term to use at the current time as the virus is still present in our population. According to her, the virus has spread to 188 countries and she believes that the world is now witnessing localized return or localized spike of a large number of cases.
Professor in the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham Keith Neal said that the second wave of coronavirus has become a media term and a scientific term. He believes spikes are being seen in many countries including in Leicester and other places. Some people might call them waves but if they are waves then there are dozens of waves being observed around the globe. According to him it’s a vague terminology as even in Australia there is a local spike of the virus but the disease is still at low levels there.
While examining previous epidemics of respiratory diseases since 1889, the University of Oxford’s Center for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) points out that most of the thinking about the second wave comes from Spanish flu that occurred in 1918-20 and infected nearly 500 million people around the globe killing 20-50 million in the process.
If it is proved that the second wave of coronavirus is not coming and that the virus is just one big wave then the schools will likely be reopened. Robert Redfield, director of CDC believes that schools should be reopened as the youth of the country are at greater risk from drugs, suicide, and the flu. He said that his point of view is that the greater risk to the nation comes by keeping the schools closed.