Countries Already Facing Second Lockdown

Here in the U.S., most states have reopened at least to some extent. Many countries are doing the same, lifting restrictions. However, experts warned us that a resurgence of COVID-19 would occur were restrictions lifted too quickly. That’s happening in many places.
 
South Korea did a fantastic job handling COVID-19 and thought they had eradicated the illness. They even believed they could reopen bars. But quickly had to close them again. Bars and nightclubs saw immediate spikes in infections. Now, authorities are trying to track thousands of people who went out to have a nice evening and may have been exposed to COVID-19. Even Germany — which is viewed as the gold standard in response to COVID-19 in Europe — is looking at re-shuttering areas where the infections are starting to rise.

Lebanon appeared to contain the spread and felt safe reopening businesses. Two weeks later, they are shutting down again — ordering four days of total-lockdown while officials re-review the situation. After attending a party to celebrate the end of the lockdown, 10 people became ill with the virus. That’s a problem we should all expect to see. We want to celebrate with friends when restrictions end, but doing so quickly can put us all at risk.
 
France had a significant spike on the day they reopened. Obviously, the spike couldn’t have been caused in a day, it shows the country wasn’t ready to open. Scientists in China, who have been dealing with COVID-19 for the longest time, said that the virus is inside people for so long, it makes fighting the spread very difficult.
 
The course of disease could last 30 to 50 days for some patients,” said Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese CDC. “The virus could take longer to manifest itself in patients with weak immunity, who are also prone to ‘ons’ and ‘offs’ of symptoms.” Many areas in China are shutting down locally, depending on the number of infected people they are seeing. This piecemeal reaction may be best as it would target hotspots.
 
Dr. Firass Abiad, who leads the COVID-19 fight at Lebanon’s main government hospital, said that the lockdown gave them time to plan for the rise in numbers. “A lockdown is a means and not an end,” he said. “It’s a means either to allow you to regain control or put measures in place to control coronavirus when it comes back. When we eased the lockdown, we knew there would be an increase in the number of cases.”
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against lifting the shelter-at-home orders too quickly. Instead, they suggest a slow and steady way of reopening. That means keeping social distancing in public informed, not reopening crowded places and increasing testing. And financial experts warn that lifting restrictions too soon could actually worsen economies around the world as even more workers and consumers will fall ill.
 
Many states aren’t following the advice of WHO. Instead, it’s on us. Some states have reopened theaters and other high-occupancy areas despite the fact that experts say it’s unsafe. Avoid them. Stay safe and take care of yourself regardless of what they say. We want to see our friends. It’s been much too long since we got to spend time together. But, instead of having people in your home, going into theirs or meeting indoors at a diner, get outside and have some fresh air. Meet up for a chat at a reopened park. Or just sit on a stoop — six feet apart. We want to get back to our lives, an immediate spike when we reopen will have us all being sent home again.
May 14, 2020
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