It was just a few weeks ago that we regularly awoke to news reports of Corona virus “hot spots” across the country. Such daily reports have greatly diminished in number and frequency. Perhaps it is because because the news media has lost interest or the United States is doing a better job of containing the spread of the virus. Whichever it may be, the opening of colleges and schools in many locales, the transition from outdoor activities to indoor, the annual flu season, and the public’s understandable weariness of living under Covid-19 restrictions and stresses are a potent formula for a second wave in the coming weeks and months. Recent infection rate upticks in a limited number of communities, for example in certain parts of the New York City metropolitan area, should be a warning sign of what the fall and winter could bring if we do not remain vigilant in practicing social distancing and observing other necessary precautions.
Over the Labor Day weekend I had occasion to travel to the metropolitan New York City area to attend to a personal matter. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny, cool day. I had heard through the grapevine that in many New York neighborhoods the “pandemic was over”. Thus, I was not terribly surprised when I observed sidewalk restaurants filled to capacity with little social distancing, lines of unmasked customers waiting for tables, and unmasked pedestrians strolling by indeed as if Covid-19 had been eradicated. The only problem is that the virus is very much still with us.
If in the coming months and before a vaccine is available, we are to keep as many people as possible healthy and sustain an economic recovery we must remain vigilant We owe it to each other not to act as if “the pandemic is over”. It is not – no matter how badly we want it to be.