The first wave of COVID is not over

Courtesy photo

The United States as a whole, and 21 states including Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, are seeing significant increases in the number of COVID cases over the last seven to 10 days. Interestingly, the deaths in the United States have continued to decrease despite the alarming increase in case load, presumably due to improvements in the ways we treat this disease.

In South Dakota, 27 new cases were reported Tuesday, and the number of deaths is at 88 persons. This is the lowest number of new cases in a single day since the middle of May.

In Lawrence County we have had 16 confirmed cases and no deaths; the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, however, will change all that during the weeks following the event.

Unfortunately, many folks (if not most) believe we have defeated the first wave of the disease and are crediting the spike in cases to increased testing or perhaps the beginning of a second wave of the disease.

We as a nation, and certainly in South Dakota, are still battling the first wave of infections.

A second wave will not occur until we have defeated the first wave, and a second wave, by definition, won’t be seen until the first wave has been controlled, typically once the seasons change to fall and winter. The increase in the numbers of cases we have seen this month have been due to our own foolishness. Sixteen girls go out to a bar on the first night they were reopened and all 16 walked out with the coronavirus. What did they expect?

We know that the virus can be contained by mask wearing and social distancing. Why aren’t we following those guidelines more carefully? I will note that I have observed more mask-wearing in recent days. Nonetheless, I will leave you with this question, “Why aren’t we sufficiently frightened of COVID-19 to wear masks and to observe social distancing measures?”

Dr. John Andrews, “Doc John” of Lead, has a doctorate in virology, immunology, and microbiology who, after a career in developing prescription drugs, is now working on drug development to target COVID-19. He will be offering columns every two weeks about the progress of finding a vaccine for the virus.

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