As the United States is nearing a third, and possibly the largest yet, wave of COVID-19, it seems as if people are as relaxed as ever. Cases are rising, and the number of people that are not socially distancing and without masks seems to be rising as well. There are 17 states that have reported the highest number of cases since the outbreak began earlier this year. Business Insider says that the U.S. is now seeing the highest numbers of new cases in a single day.” Professionals are concerned that this might be the largest, and worst, wave of COVID-19 that we have seen yet. Business Insider says that the professionals are linking this spike to “a combination of factors: Lockdown measures have lifted, more people are spending time indoors as weather gets cold, residents are feeling fatigued by safety measures and cases never dropped sufficiently.”
Pandemic Fatigue is a term that is going around, labeling the decrease of concern that individuals are having regarding contracting COVID-19. Business Insider says that Pandemic Fatigue could make individuals “less likely to remain at home or stay informed about local transmission. As schools and businesses reopen, others may get the false impression that those environments are now completely safe”. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a statement to Business Insider that “it appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.”
There are at least 14 states with test-positivity rates that are above 10 percent. Test-positivity rates are the amount of COVID-19 tests that come back with a positive result. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that ideally the rates should stay below 3 percent and that, if rates were to get between 7 percent and 9 percent, it would be “very disturbing.” Business Insider reports that “The U.S.’s overall test-positivity rate was at 5.2 percent on Thursday, a slight uptick from 4.6 percent on Oct. 1.”
Regardless if a vaccine is released soon or not, this virus is not going anywhere anytime soon. Another, possibly even stricter, lockdown period would be helpful in lowering case numbers. If we were able to have enough self control to stay inside for just two weeks, then we would be so much closer to kicking this virus in the butt. Bars need to close, there is too much temptation with them open. Schools need to go all virtual and offices need to send workers home. It will not be fun, but it could be what is necessary.
Cases on campus are also going up, as well as the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Guidelines on campus are becoming stricter, instead of gathering up to 30 people getting approved, now the largest number of people allowed at approved events is 10. If the guidelines that are put in place by the university are not followed it is hard to say that things next semester have any chance of looking different from this one.