The member states of the EU have mostly reopened their borders for the other EU member states which makes traveling across Europe much easier. Many people are therefore using the opportunity to travel as much as they can. This is despite the fact that the numbers of newly infected people are rising again in many of these European countries. Lots of people are now wondering whether there will be a second wave of COVID-19, or it will be just the continuation of the first one.
What is going to happen in autumn and winter?
The second wave was predicted to occur in autumn or winter and while the first wave still continues, many experts are still convinced that the second wave is indeed inevitable. One of these experts is an epidemiologist Roman Prymula. Prymula correctly predicted a minor “second wave” to come in June, which was certainly not wrong if we consider that the number of new cases did actually start rising again. In fact, he is worried that the second wave may occur in the Czech Republic even sooner since the total number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to rise – as of July 22, there were 14 324 confirmed cases in the country, which includes 5 046 people currently suffering from the coronavirus, 8 919 recoveries and 360 casualties.
Prymula is concerned about the situation possibly getting worse but claims that there is still no reason for tightening the restrictions nationwide again. That is at least if the number of new cases starts growing dramatically – about 300-400 new cases per day.
As for the autumn and winter, Prymula and another epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar warn that the situation may indeed turn out much worse than it is now as the world will be dealing with two diseases – COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. In that case, some of the previous countermeasures would have to be reintroduced – mostly wearing face masks. According to Prymula, it is better than putting the whole country under quarantine again. This, however, doesn’t include another closing of borders as the “Coronavirus Traffic Light System” constantly adapts to the pandemic situation. This is the same for other European countries as well.
UPDATED, July 23: As the number of new cases continues to grow, the Czech government is more and more worried. On July 22 the Czech Minister of Health announced that he’ll wait until Friday (July 24) and if the situation doesn’t get any better and the number still continues to rise, some nationwide countermeasures will be reintroduced immediately. That would include wearing face masks, social distancing, and a limit on the number of participants of mass events.
Quo vadis, coronavirus?
As for the whole world, according to Reuters, there were globally over 15 million infected people as of July 22. Among the countries struggling with the disease is, for example, the USA, Balkan states, and even Israel that may be, according to some experts, already hit by the second wave.
This, however, comes as no surprise – the US government has seriously underestimated the pandemic and on top of this, the more infectious strain of COVID-19 took over and is now spreading massively, according to the WHO (World Health Organisation). Israel and the Balkan states, similarly to the Czech Republic, have probably released the restrictions too soon.
On the brighter side, many countries are already working on a vaccine. There are actually about 160 teams working on it in total. The only problem is that it is unlikely that the vaccine will be released any time soon and won’t be accessible worldwide or for everyone. At least not immediately after its release.
What can you do to protect yourself and others?
Even though the second wave is, according to many experts, unavoidable, it doesn’t mean people cannot at least attempt to soften the blow.
The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and other people are to:
- Follow strict hygiene;
- Avoid crowded places as much as possible;
- Wear a face mask when feeling ill (at least in crowded places and on public transport);
- Use our elbow rather than your hand to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible to be safe in the future in case the pandemic returns. Having a residence permit is the best way of making sure you’ll be able to return to the Czech Republic even if the borders are closed again.
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Source of the photo: Unsplash.com