• Janice Lin

Living in a Tsunami

The first world’s case of Covid-19 was reported on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China. The United States’ first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported on January 22, 2020 in Washington when a man returned from Wuhan. Even though the initial cases started in the northwest of the United States, the first wave was mainly located in New York and New Jersey, where the virus traveled from Europe. On March 11, 2020, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Two days later, a national emergency was announced in the United States. It was during this time when many local and state governments, including Westchester County, told everyone to quarantine and limit in-person interactions.

The “first wave” of Covid-19 centered in the northeastern part of the United States and occurred in the springtime. A factor in the first wave was the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), which were all manufactured in China, whose tight government lockdown meant that the decreasing supply could not meet increasing demand. The president used the Defence Production Act of 1950 (DPA) for one company to make more ventaliors, but shortages continued in most states’ hospitals. One way to have fixed this problem would be to have further implemented the DPA. The act would have allowed the United States government to mobilize large private businesses to distribute the PPE within the United States, to put more PPE into the national stockpile, and to prevent companies from selling their supply abroad to places like China, which the president blames for the spread of Covid-19 and which many countries want to investigate to assess its culpability.

Throughout May and June, the United States as a whole was able to keep Covid-19 cases at a plateau of around 20-30 thousand cases a day, a circumstance that we can still safely classify as extremely serious. The second wave was very unexpected for the public, because the president repeatedly insisted that Covid-19 would subside in April, when the weather was warmer. The theory possibly could have held true, but when people started to let their guard down and mingle without wearing masks or practicing social distancing, the number of cases started to increase quickly. July 16, 2020 was the peak of the “second wave,” with 75,687 new cases of Covid-19 per day. The United States hotspots during the summer were mostly in the South and California. Places like Alabama, Arizona, Texas, and Florida saw their cases peak during that period. During this stretch, treatments such as Remdesivir and Dexamethasone appeared, so the death rate decreased from that of the first wave. Another factor for the lower death rate was the fact that the average age of those who caught Covid-19 decreased considerably. The bottom of the second wave would be September 7, 2020, which had 25,166 cases, but that number is near the number of cases of the first wave’s peak.

The week after, Edgemont reopened school. The number of cases during this time was under 1,000 a day, allowing for an environment where people felt more comfortable. Sadly, as expected, cases started to explode across the country as schools opened. Not only that, but the colder weather meant that it is easier to transmit the virus, since people are now gathering indoors to avoid the lower temperatures. What is so frightening about the “third wave” of Covid-19 is that it is located everywhere, not in one particular region of the United States. Currently the Midwest has been hit the hardest during, but the number of cases are climbing in all 50 states. If the United States is not careful, this wave could get out of hand.

The worst case scenario predicts 352,564 deaths within the United States. If we continue the United States’ current path, the prediction is 328,871 deaths, If there becomes a national mask mandate, then the prediction is 297,457 deaths. It is the hope of this author that people remain vigilant in avoiding large groups of people, wear masks, and maintain social distancing. During the holiday season, please stay safe.