The Potential Risk of a Fourth Wave in Parts of The Country


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With the rise of COVID cases in some states, experts worry of a potential fourth surge affecting parts of our country.

Kylie de Best, Section Editor

Over the past few months, our country has seen a major decline in coronavirus cases. This relief has brought about a sharp decline in hospitalizations and deaths and has been giving a hopeful outcome for a potential end of the pandemic. Seeing these trends, states such as Texas and Florida removed their mask mandates, while many of California’s counties had the opportunity to move down to lower tiers, allowing more places to open up at a greater capacity. However, despite all of the good news people are seeing, experts still have concerns about a potential fourth surge that could come about soon. 

In states such as Michigan, New York, and New England, cases have begun to surge a bit, accounting for an 8% increase of coronavirus cases over the week (Los Angeles Times). Scientists hope that these outbreaks remain in only certain areas and don’t spread to the west of the country, as California has continuously had great progress in keeping the cases down after the huge surge in cases over the winter. One thing to note about the decline in cases in California though is that the cases are starting to plateau rather than decline, raising a little bit of concern but not as much as in areas where the cases are rapidly rising. 

Though it will take time to see how these states will be throughout the next few weeks, other states like Texas are seeing a decline in cases despite their mask mandate being lifted. This is interesting data to see, and a potential reason for this is herd immunity, where a bunch of people gets exposed to the virus so they are later immune to it. If this were the case, it makes sense why states like Michigan and New York are seeing surges now, as they were known for their stricter lockdowns, preventing the possibility of herd immunity from happening. Although mask-wearing is very important to contain a virus, there are many ways in which states approached this pandemic which is interesting to observe. 

Since the United States is currently in the process of getting vaccines, the more people that get vaccinated can truly have an impact on how widespread the surge gets. Experts are noticing that during this potential surge, younger people are getting affected more, likely because those 65 and older are vaccinated. For example, in Michigan, which has been the state of concern for the rising coronavirus cases, their cases among kids 10 to 19 have risen 133% in the past month (The Detroit News). Juliana Neemah (10) finds this concerning, as “this is our age group and before this virus was known to mainly affect people of older age groups. It shows that no matter what your age group is you should still stay careful, as this virus has been known to be very unpredictable.” With the majority of cases now affecting these younger groups, it shows how the vaccines are being effective for the older age groups that have gotten it, so when it is time for younger groups to get vaccinated they should take that opportunity to prevent their age group from getting affected more severely.

With the constant news about the pandemic, it is still very confusing for both experts and the public to best judge what will happen next. However, it is certain that being prepared and practicing safety measures whenever possible will help continue the downward trend in states like California and prevent us from officially having a terrible fourth wave.