The lockdown that was implemented to enforce social distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19 will possibly be eased in a gradual manner. At present, many restrictions are already being eased all over the country. This, however, has led to an increase in the number of cases in India. Experts now fear that there might be a second wave of COVID-19 arriving soon.
What is the second wave?
A second wave means a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases after there has been a decline. It has already happened in China where cluster infection has been reported recently even after weeks of no new cases being diagnosed. It is possible that other countries including India will also witness a similar trajectory.
When will the second wave hit?
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the second wave will arrive. But epidemiologists and healthcare professionals feel it will happen in the July-August period.
Why will there be a second wave?
Because as the lockdown is slowly being relaxed, people have started going out. All economic activities are resuming. More and more people will be joining their workplace. Shopping centres and shops will open and thousands will flock to the stores to make essential and non-essential purchases. Movie theatres and malls, if opened, too will attract crowds. People have been confined for so long that they will go out to meet with their acquaintances and friends.
Supposing that the lockdown is eased further, we can assume that for the whole of June, people will be mingling with each other. Some of these people might be infected and they will pass on the coronavirus to those they come in contact with.
Going by this trend, new people will start getting infected during June and fresh cases will be reported from the end of June or July onwards. The second wave is very likely to happen.
Can the second wave be prevented?
It is not possible to confirm if the second wave will arrive or not, so it is best to be prepared. Our governments, as well as we have to be extremely cautious. What we do now will decide how dangerously the second wave will be.
What can we do to slow down the second wave?
1. Maintain social distancing when you go out.
2. Do not go out unless necessary even after the lockdown is lifted.
3. If you are going back to the office, use hand sanitizers, hand wash and face masks all the time.
4. Do not gather in groups anywhere, including the office.
5. Keep your workstation disinfected.
6. Do not shake hands with clients.
7. Opt for e-conferences.
8. Continue to work from home wherever possible.
9. Wash your clothes and disinfect your office bag after coming home, don’t let others come in contact with your stuff.
10. Continue following certain lockdown measures like cleaning up groceries, fruits, vegetables, food packets, etc.
11. Eat healthily and keep exercising to boost immunity.
How is the government preparing?
Governments (both State and Union) are doing the following –
- They are ready with sufficient testing kits.
- Hospital wards for COVID-19 patients are in a state of preparedness to take in new people.
- Authorities are ready to start contact-tracing as soon as new cases are reported.
Only by being cautious can we keep our loved ones and ourselves safe from the second wave.
Remember, step out only when necessary to stay protected at all times.