Doctors say this first wave of COVID-19 likely won’t be the last.
They say there are factors during winter months in colder climates that could help the virus spread, and they say there are also benefits to living in the Sunshine State when it comes to stopping the spread.
Will we ever be out of the woods?
“It’s inevitable that we will have a return of the virus or maybe it never even went away,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Doctors say it’s almost certain we will see COVID-19 again in the fall and winter months – and it may come with even greater fury.
“The potential for having more than one virus that is running rampant at that time, such as influenza along with COVID-19, would certainly be a major public health disaster,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, chairman for the Department of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology at Mount Sinai and spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society of America.
“Remember, all kinds of viruses like this when people are indoors and congregated in cold dry weather, they tend to do better than when you’re in a warmer climate,” Fauci said.
And doctors say being in a warmer climate where you can spend more time outside year-round could be a good thing.
“Obviously any virus would spread faster in the indoor, poorly ventilated, high concentration area,” Glatt said. “There certainly is some potential benefit to people being outside in the air and not as closely physically together and with the unbelievable filtration system that God gave us called the outdoors, so that certainly is something that would be a benefit.”
But being outdoors still doesn’t remove all risks.
“It’s more than just the temperature. It’s the proximity, it’s the poor ventilation in an enclosed area,” Glatt said.
That’s why doctors want people to plan ahead of time, with things we know will work.
“We need to have in place better testing. We need to have in place a clear understanding of who is at risk, who is not at risk,” Glatt said. “Overall the most important thing is social distancing.”
Fauci said Tuesday there are two paths the nation could take if we see a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and winter months.
If we’re well prepared with measures like widespread testing, he said we should be fine. But if we’re not prepared, he said we could be in for a rough fall and winter.