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sassenach

Why August for the second wave?

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I tried finding my own answer but the articles don’t specify why experts think a second wave could happen in August. It’s still pretty hot most places, so the summer effect seems like it would still apply. It’s early for flu season, which seems like it would be a bigger factor in Oct/Nov. Schools do go back, but usually mid to late August, so that doesn’t seem like it would drive a spike until some weeks later. 

So does anyone have any real explanation as to why this is such a common headline or is it just based on what the 1918 flu did? 

Edited by sassenach

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Some mathematical models suggest end of August, ( based afaik on what is already happening now ) 

A  graph shape as started in January- February looked very gradual trickle until spiking way up into early April. 

A similar shape could exist for May / June gradual trickle turning into spike end of August to September 

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From what I can see, August is mentioned because of the timeline expected from spread based on relaxed restrictions. Nothing special about August itself.

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1 minute ago, slackermom said:

From what I can see, August is mentioned because of the timeline expected from spread based on relaxed restrictions. Nothing special about August itself.

And woot, just in time for all those college kids to head back to the dorms... hoping more and more my two college kids can manage to do everything online, even if it's not their preferred method of delivery all things being equal, all things are not equal and they really don't want to do in-person classes in the current situation...

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Just now, MEmama said:

What “summer effect”? Some of the hottest parts of the country are currently experiencing the most alarming spikes. I’ve never seen anything credible that suggests warm weather might cause a slowdown; only a bit of wishful/magical thinking on a certain person's part some months back.

For that matter, the rapid increase of cases in this country seems like a clear indication we are very much still in a first wave. That might not be true in your area, but it certainly is as a nation.

 

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We haven't gotten through the first wave, so I'm really not sure about all the talk about a second. Cases counts at the end of last week rivaled those in early April.

 

Edited by melmichigan
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2 minutes ago, MEmama said:

What “summer effect”? Some of the hottest parts of the country are currently experiencing the most alarming spikes. I’ve never seen anything credible that suggests warm weather might cause a slowdown; only a bit of wishful/magical thinking on a certain person's part some months back.

Yet another way in which this virus is nothing like the flu.

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As others have said, we're still grappling with the first wave here, so I haven't followed any predictions for a second wave other than the vague "fall" stuff. I wonder if the August prediction has anything to do with air conditioning, though? Late July/early August is the hottest time of the year, more people hanging out inside with the AC blasting? I know I've seen a couple of articles speculating that AC could help distribute the virus.

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In late May, before Oregon's numbers started going up, our local epidemiologist was predicting lower numbers for summer and then numbers picking up again in September and peaking in January. His assumptions were: lower numbers because flu and other coronaviruses are more contagious in cold weather. Picking up in September because that is when colleges and public schools get going again which leads to just more social mobility than slower summer months. I could see starting with his assumptions but altering them and moving things a bit earlier based on a higher level of virus activity right now.

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The summer effect here has mostly been in the form of many neighbors putting in backyard pools, so the kids stay cool and busy at home.  Our area isn’t through with the first big round, it seems.  Always envious of those posters with very low cases in their area, able to be back to normal.

I wonder if a spike in August will be due to vacationers, from places that have less cases now bringing cases back to their areas and spreading?

 

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1 hour ago, melmichigan said:

We haven't gotten through the first wave, so I'm really not sure about all the talk about a second. Cases counts at the end of last week rivaled those in early April.

 

 

A second wave is not dependent upon a first wave ending.

Think of sound waves where 100 people yelling can be joined by 100 more people yelling even if none of the first 100 have become quiet.

Or think of a second snow storm dumping more snow in drifts on top of snow from a prior storm even if the prior snow hasn’t melted or been shoveled away

they probably need a different term

“Wave” seems to confuse lots of people 

second significant increase   Regardless of whether the first has abated 

what term do you think would be less confusing?

 

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

 

A second wave is not dependent upon a first wave ending.

Think of sound waves where 100 people yelling can be joined by 100 more people yelling even if none of the first 100 have become quiet.

Or think of a second snow storm dumping more snow in drifts on top of snow from a prior storm even if the prior snow hasn’t melted or been shoveled away

they probably need a different term

“Wave” seems to confuse lots of people 

second significant increase   Regardless of whether the first has abated 

what term do you think would be less confusing?

 

I hadn’t thought about it like that. Good explanation.

I think most people use it as though we are currently in a lull, and then we’ll ramp back up again at some point. The second go around, as it were. I assume those people aren’t watching how quickly the numbers are going up currently, though. I don’t think they are reported...everywhere. 

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3 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Because they make things up left and right and substitute their guesses for data?

#jaded

I'll be honest, these answers are pretty much what I thought- this is something a lot of people are saying but the reasons supporting it are unclear.

Covid projections feel like tracking a hurricane. Probably right about what will happen tomorrow, wild guesses about what will happen beyond this week. 

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3 hours ago, MEmama said:
 

What “summer effect”? Some of the hottest parts of the country are currently experiencing the most alarming spikes. I’ve never seen anything credible that suggests warm weather might cause a slowdown; only a bit of wishful/magical thinking on a certain person's part some months back.

For that matter, the rapid increase of cases in this country seems like a clear indication we are very much still in a first wave. That might not be true in your area, but it certainly is as a nation.

Yes. Here in Florida we've had summer temperatures for at least a month and you see what's happening here. That's just another way this virus isn't "just like the flu". Warm weather, even hot weather, doesn't seem to have any effect on it. 

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4 hours ago, slackermom said:

From what I can see, August is mentioned because of the timeline expected from spread based on relaxed restrictions. Nothing special about August itself.

The news in May were saying that’s what models predicted. The assumptions were places reopening and year round schools starting back in July. 

Edited by Arcadia

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I wonder if this reveals privileging northern latitudes, where many people are outdoors more in summer than other seasons.

If July & August are unbearably hot where you live and people spend those months indoors rather than outdoors, that could increase transmission compared to other seasons.

Where I live we spend much more time outside in summer, which I believe decreases transmission. Maybe the metric should be time outdoors vs. indoors, rather than month of the year or anything else. 

 

Edited by Acadie
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10 minutes ago, Acadie said:

I wonder if this reveals the privileging northern latitudes, where many people are outdoors more in summer than other seasons.

If July/August is unbearably hot where you live, and people spend July/August indoors rather than outdoors, that could increase transmission compared to other seasons.

Where I live we spend much more time outside in summer, which I believe decreases transmission. Maybe the metric should be time outdoors vs. indoors, rather than month of the year or anything else. 

I've been wondering the same thing. ..

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19 hours ago, MEmama said:

 

I came across something yesterday that said the summer effect isn’t about cases, it’s about deaths. Some people think the winter surge will be more deadly because people will have a lower Vit D level (shout out to @Pen). 

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Where I live we haven't had a first wave yet.  My county has 4 cases. Cases are slowly going up, but when we did a shut down it was pretty pointless to most here bc the virus hadn't gotten here yet.  I expect to see an increase once school opens back up.  On my tiny community,  that's the biggest social gathering place.  

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43 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

Where I live we haven't had a first wave yet.  My county has 4 cases. Cases are slowly going up, but when we did a shut down it was pretty pointless to most here bc the virus hadn't gotten here yet.  I expect to see an increase once school opens back up.  On my tiny community,  that's the biggest social gathering place.  

 

It was probably great for you all locally precisely because the virus had not gotten there yet.  You got to be essentially virus free! 

 

My county, which is close to land area size of Connecticut state, bigger than RI and Delaware, has barely over 100 confirmed cases (probably more-testing still not happening much here), 3 deaths.

Our local rural area (no stop light, no store type place) so far allegedly has none.  But it would take very little for it to have gotten going as people would otherwise normally have travelled to and from Portland metro area, and especially if schools (also a social gathering place here) had stayed open, and kids (and adult supporters) had traveled far and wide around the state for athletic events and similar activities, as well as possibly a change /travel of some exchange students at spring break, this little rural area was essentially in significant contact with the whole state and beyond.   Also in contact with international airports and via airports and interstate highway system pretty much whole country and whole world. 

I guess there may be some really isolated totally self sufficient communities that would have been in no more contact with everywhere else directly and indirectly, had there not been shutdowns, but they are pretty rare. 

 

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On 6/22/2020 at 4:20 PM, Pen said:

 

A second wave is not dependent upon a first wave ending.

Think of sound waves where 100 people yelling can be joined by 100 more people yelling even if none of the first 100 have become quiet.

Or think of a second snow storm dumping more snow in drifts on top of snow from a prior storm even if the prior snow hasn’t melted or been shoveled away

they probably need a different term

“Wave” seems to confuse lots of people 

second significant increase   Regardless of whether the first has abated 

what term do you think would be less confusing?

 

In a way I think it depends on if you are looking at individual states, or the country as a whole.  As a nation we haven't had a significant decrease in cases to meet the widely interpreted medical definition of a second wave, which requires a decrease in cases, while some individual states have certainly met that definition.  At the same time some are interpreting the change in population, the shift from elderly to younger people, as a second wave regardless of the case count. COVID isn't fitting into established boxes very well.

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Dr. Fauci says we're still in the first wave. I'll take his word for it.

Quote

How can we predict the end of one wave and the beginning of another? Can we mark this?

Anthony S. Fauci: You know, you actually cannot predict [a wave]. You can get a good feel by depending on how you respond to the ongoing infection dynamics in the community. You know, the way I explain it is that what you have is you have two forces. You have a virus, [that] if left to its own devices will continue to rapidly go through the population. And then you have your attempt to do something to blunt that progression of virus through society.

The one that we’ve been dealing with over the last few months has been what’s called “mitigation,” namely to, in a very dramatic way, separate the virus from people by the so-called “physical separation” of one person who might be infected from another. That’s the reason why we talk about the distances of physical separation, wearing of a mask, washing hands to interrupt that interaction between the virus and society that has been successful to help contain the onslaught which we’ve unfortunately experienced, which has been very severe, with now 120,000 deaths . . . in 2 million cases in the United States, which is extraordinary. That you would consider a wave.

How do you go from one wave and not have another wave going? Well, first of all, unfortunately for us, we still are in the first wave because even though there’s variability throughout the country, where some places like New York City are going very nicely down, staying down so that they can start to reopen, simultaneously, we’re seeing in certain states an increase in cases and even now an increase in some of the states of hospitalization. What that directly is related to is complicated. It’s a combination of testing more, but not explained completely by testing more, because some of the states really do have a real increase in the percent of the tests that are positive.

Right now, when you talk about waves, you would have to say everything goes way down like as occurred in some countries. And then do you keep it down enough to prevent a second wave? For example, in a different season, as we get into September, October, November, when you have the complicating issues of having an influenza outbreak that invariably occurs every season. Bottom line, you can’t predict. It’s going to depend on your capability and your effectiveness when you do get these little blips of infection, which we will invariably get, that you have the systems, the testing, the manpower to do the identification, isolation and contact tracing. If you do, it is not inevitable that you’re going to have a second wave in the fall. Nor is it inevitable that, even now, as we enter the summer and we start to pull back to normalize, you will start to see cases if properly addressed.

You don’t necessarily have to have a resurgence in a wave that has not even gone down. So that’s the reason why I say when people talk about a second wave in the summer, you can’t talk about a second wave in the summer because we’re still in the first wave. We want to get that first wave down. Then we’ll see if we can keep it there.

 

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