Covid-19: what you need to know today
Next week is an important one for India in its fight against the coronavirus disease. There are clear signs of a second wave, there have been, for some time, but the week starting November 30 will decide how quickly it picks up steam. Because, this is when we’ll find out if the crowded markets seen just before Diwali (Nov. 14) and the Diwali celebrations themselves – they were muted this year, but there were some family gatherings and gatherings, and some people traveled. be with their families – have caused an increase in cases. If there is one, it will start showing up in the numbers later this week.
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This is because anecdotal evidence, from Labor Day weekend in the U.S. to the crowding at a vegetable market in Chennai in May, suggests that cases peak two weeks after such. events. And that’s because science suggests that super diffuser and super diffuser events play an important role in disease transmission.
If there is any chance that India will avoid this peak, it is due to the fact that Diwali came at a time that was the end of the first wave or the beginning of the second in India. It is possible, and also likely, that the country’s second wave, like the first, will slowly gather momentum, rather than being turbocharged early on by a sharp increase in the number of cases.
In this, India is lucky.
This week, the US celebrates one of its most important holidays, Thanksgiving (November 26), one in which there are usually many people who travel to be with their families. In each of the past two weeks, the country, now seeing its third wave of coronavirus disease, has added at least one million cases. And while the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people avoid travel, over the weekend, U.S. airports saw their busiest period since March, with three million people passing through. them, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. That’s still about 40% lower than the number of people who flew in before Thanksgiving last year, but media reports suggest that many people believe that traveling to be with family in Action Thanksgiving is worth the risk of contracting Covid-19, and also that there is an increase in travel. That’s bad news for a country that has about 175,000 cases a day on average, where cases are high and on the rise in almost every state, and where hospitals are overwhelmed by a growing number of hospitalizations. Experts fear that a Thanksgiving spike could push several states and their public health systems to the limit.
It is not clear why the nature of waves between countries is so different: the second wave appears to have peaked in much of Europe, which would mean that both waves in most European countries have lasted less time than the second wave. corresponding waves in the United States (and also India).
India’s first wave lasted for months, slowly gathered momentum, peaked in mid-September and then subsided. The geographic and population size could explain this: it is a thing in common in both India and the US, and also in Brazil (it has seen the third highest number of cases), which is also experiencing a second wave although the numbers for that country are far too patchy to be taken seriously.
In the US and elsewhere, the fact that four vaccines have shown high efficacy in protecting people from Covid-19 could well be encouraging people to take risks they would not otherwise take, reported the New York Times, citing data from a travel search engine. that travel bookings increased after Pfizer / BioNTech’s announcement in early November that its vaccine was effective in protecting people from coronavirus disease.
This behavior, derived from the belief that the worst is over – it still has no name, but I am sure one will soon be coined – is as bad as Covid or pandemic fatigue.
Sure, on one level, the success of four vaccines has changed everything.
However, in another, nothing has changed.