With vaccine deployment on the rise, it finally looks like there is some end to this pandemic within sight. With the initial spread of COVID-19, India faced the world’s largest lockdown to control the escalation and reduce the number of people infected.
Over a year and a half later, after the initial and second waves have taken their toll, everyone is curious about the third wave. Questions like “when is the third wave coming?” and “how can we avoid the third wave?” are common in the news and the general public. The hopeful news is that although it is inevitable, proper measures can help us avoid it.
How can we avoid the Third Wave – What can the common people do?
As per the government scientific advisors, to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 is not an impossible task, as long as we all stick to the basic precautionary methods – mask-wearing, hand washing/sanitising and 6-feet physical distancing.
With the new variants such as the Delta variant, it is wreaking havoc due to its ability to spread more easily than the earlier variants, the focus has shifted to prioritise both prevention and vaccination. With ambitious goals to have a billion people fully vaccinated by the end of the year, India faces a steep challenge.
One of the key figures being mentioned is a 60% fully vaccinated rate. It is thought that if we can cross this threshold, it can reduce the likelihood of an intense third wave by achieving herd immunity. At best, it can prevent a third wave from ever happening. Even if the third wave arrives, we will have a handle over it.
One of the more significant factors is the general public becoming relaxed with masks and social distancing protocols due to the low number of cases post the second wave. So, how can we avoid the third wave? It’s simple – wear a mask in public at all times, maintain social distance, sanitise your hands regularly and most importantly, get vaccinated as soon as possible.
When is the Third Wave due – And should I be worried?
So far, there is no consensus on when the 3rd wave will arrive. According to some estimates, it started on July 4th whereas others are of the opinion that the 3rd wave might be here by August. Looking into the way the virus has affected our country through the first two waves gives us some clues as to what are some possible outcomes for the future. It may be that with enough precautions to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 and successful vaccination drives we can actually avoid the third wave.
Some government officials note that 6 – 8 weeks may be a possibility, while the start of August – end of October also seems popular among experts. The later predictions even speculate that November maybe when we see the third wave. However, these are all predictions and nothing is sure at this point in time.
It may turn out that the question of “when is the third wave?” may be unnecessary, as some speculation suggests this next wave will be a more gradual, slow rise than an actual ‘wave’ of cases. It is best to not worry and stress too much on how to prevent the third wave of COVID-19, as the news may simply lead to unnecessary panic.
Can we prevent the Third Wave of COVID-19 in children – Are they more susceptible?
There has been some alarm and fear that the ‘inevitable’ third wave will disproportionately affect children. The logic behind this theory is that children have been relatively sheltered throughout the first and second waves of the pandemic. But with more people heading outside to restart work and the public situation evolving, children may be at a higher risk now of coming into contact with the virus.
The fact of the matter is, most children experience this infectious disease in a mild form only. Additionally, most children do not have any comorbidities and health conditions common in adults (hypertension, diabetes, heart and lung diseases). This makes their risk of developing complications during COVID-19 even lower. There is a very small risk of Multi-System Inflammatory Disease of Children (MIS-C) but it is rare. Due to the nature of how the virus works, to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 in children the normal protocols are enough.
Be sure that your child is practising these safety measures even when they are not directly within your sight and instil in them the need to be vigilant without causing them stress or alarm. Avoid unnecessary gatherings and follow COVID appropriate behaviour sincerely, because children imitate what elders do.
Moving forward and looking ahead with hope
Although it has been thoroughly fatiguing and tiring, getting through this pandemic can only move quicker if we stop the virus from spreading and get vaccinated. It is natural to get irritated and disheartened but our lives and safety should always be a priority so remain vigilant and don’t take these precautions lightly. Do your best to help others stick to the usual safety measures and avoid gatherings where you won’t be able to maintain social distance.
In the end, the question of “how can we avoid the third wave” comes down to each and every one of us – will you be able to do your part to stop the third wave?
If we all do our part, then the third wave can remain as just a speculation and we can all move forward into regular life.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.