Will COVID-19 Cases Heat Up As Winter Weather Arrives

Will COVID-19 Cases Heat Up As Winter Weather Arrives

For many areas in the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases has reduced significantly. Not only did the number of new cases go down, but hospitalizations and deaths also decreased within the last month. More people follow safety protocols and continue to opt for the vaccine or the new booster shots.

Recent data, however, shows an uptick in certain parts of the U.S., specifically in the Midwest and Northeastern states. Iowa, Vermont, Oklahoma, Alaska, and New Hampshire have seen a 10% increase in COVID-19 cases within the past two weeks alone. This worries infectious disease experts as colder temperatures and rainy weather approach for the winter. These types of conditions drive people indoors, where many of them don’t wear masks.

The Current COVID Spike:

Experts explain that the most recent spike in the Midwestern and Northeastern states is because of the delta variant’s arrival. Although the delta variant isn’t new, it took longer to arrive in the North than it did in the South, according to epidemiologists. For example, Florida peaked before states like Minnesota or Michigan. When you factor in the colder weather that has already hit the North, it makes sense why COVID-19 cases increased recently.

COVID-19 And Winter 2021:

Last winter, the United States experienced extremely high case rates, with January 2021 numbers topping 300,000 per day. Before January 2021 came to a close, 95,000 people lost their lives to the respiratory illness. With the highly transmissible delta variant now in the midst, experts wonder if we should expect a similar situation to that of last winter.

For the most part, specialists are unsure of how COVID-19 will affect people this winter. In addition to the vaccine, there is infection-acquired immunity to consider. Both of these things may make a difference as colder months approach. With more and more spaces requiring negative tests or vaccines to enter, the hope is that COVID-19 isn’t as big of a threat. It’s going to be an evolving situation, just as it has been since the very beginning of lockdown in March 2020.

Will The Delta Wave Die Down?

Infectious disease experts say that high rates of delta transmission may subside sooner in some parts of the country. Data may suggest that the delta wave will wane by the end of November 2021, and cases should be at a lower level. The hope is that the transmission rate is back to where it was before the delta took off in late June and early July 2021. This sounds wonderful, but experts aren’t making any promises as they cannot know what to predict.

The reality is that the virus starts to run out of people with no protection to infect at some point. Although there will be breakthrough cases among the vaccinated population, the symptoms are more mild and less life-threatening than if unvaccinated people contract COVID-19. The primary goal is to maintain hospital capacity so that health care systems are not overrun by COVID-19 patients. The more people who have immunity, the fewer deaths and cases we will see. That’s why this winter 2021-2022 could be better than the last.

Could Anything Change This?

If a more highly contagious variant of the coronavirus emerges, it could complicate things. Holiday travel and indoor gatherings with family and friends may have an impact on the numbers. Experts hope that the booster shots will help protect people further, and the hope is to protect children between ages 5-11, as they make up 6-7% of the U.S. population. One thing that experts warn is a bigger flu epidemic this winter. Higher flu admissions to hospitals, combined with COVID-19 admissions, could put strain on hospitals.

There are complications ahead, naturally, but the hope is that people use what they know to protect themselves. Take the necessary precautions to be healthy this winter. Eat the right foods, exercise, wear masks, wash hands, and avoid large indoor gatherings to stay as safe as possible. If we all work together, we’ll see progress.

Sources:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/18/another-winter-of-covid
https://www.statnews.com/2020/08/10/winter-is-coming-as-flu-season-nears-americas-window-of-opportunity-to-beat-back-covid-19-is-narrowing/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/research-news/10789/?utm_source=gquery&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=gquery-home
https://www.nih.gov/latest-covid-19-boosters

2021-11-10T16:54:04-07:00