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The Threat of a Second Wave of COVID-19 By Sabeen Malik

On Thursday, April 23rd, President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of an "injection" of disinfectant into a person infected with the coronavirus as a deterrent to the virus. However, don't go injecting Lysol and eating Tide Pods yet. While this method could get rid of the virus, it would also have the unfortunate side effect of killing you. This misconstrued belief, along with many others, have the President giving out a fair amount of false information to Americans during these daily briefings. One of the most concerning of his remarks is regarding a “second wave” of COVID-19. Trump adamantly argued that the coronavirus would not come back in the fall with the same virulence as this spring – saying that at most it would be “the embers” of the virus the country will have to deal with when the next flu season begins. He then brought Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to the podium on Wednesday, April 22nd, during a briefing, to clarify a statement he made saying that a second wave of the coronavirus this winter could actually be worse than the first one. Trump’s statement was then put in great contradiction with what Redfield said. Redfield, who made his original comment to the Washington Post, said during the daily coronavirus task force briefing that while he was not misquoted by the newspaper he did feel the need to clarify his comment.“I didn’t say it was going to be worse, I said it would be more difficult,” Redfield said. "The issue I was talking about was that it will be more difficult in that we will have two viruses circulating at one time.”

Though we have these two very different claims about a second wave of coronavirus, according to our medical experts, it’s quite safe to assume that COVID-19 will be present in the fall, and it will come back in a much more dangerous form. This outbreak became widespread in March when the number of flu cases normally begins to taper off. Redfield warned that if hospitals had to respond to another coronavirus outbreak at the same time as flu cases, both of which affect the respiratory system, the health care system could be overwhelmed. There are many unanswered questions about the virus that could determine whether there will be a second wave of infection and how bad that wave might be. One of the biggest unknowns is whether people who have survived COVID-19 are immune and, if so, how long that immunity lasts. Another key step to avoid a catastrophic impact from a second wave of the pandemic will be to encourage as many Americans as possible to get a flu shot in the fall. Getting the shot could be the difference in making sure there is "a hospital bed available for your mother or grandmother that may get coronavirus," Redfield said.

The thought of COVID-19 returning with a much worse presence is quite horrifying, and many of us feel helpless. However, we must try to get by together and continue standing together in solidarity, six feet apart.