BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health officials in Alabama and across the country are alarmed at the growing number of positive coronavirus cases as the country opens up for business again. On top of that there are also concerns we could see a second wave of the virus either this summer or in the fall.
The state of Alabama is allowing more people to open businesses but they are expected to practice safety measure such as social distancing and urging people to wear face masks. While many hope we don’t see a second wave, others believe it’s just a matter of time.
“We are certainly concerned about it. This is a brand new disease. It’s a coronavirus the world has not seen before. We don’t have a way of knowing what’s going to happen,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama Public Health Officer said.
The head of the Alabama Hospital Association Dr. Don Williamson believes there is no way to get around a second wave of the coronavirus as the state opens up more. “We are not going to have a vaccine by September or October. I simply don’t understand why we would not have a second wave,” Williamson said.
Williamson said those who believe herd immunity, or the natural ability to be immune from the virus, would have to be around 60% to make a real impact and that it is unrealistic to rely on. Dr Harris said the best chance to stop or lessen the impact of a second wave is to continue to practice safety procedures. Williamson agrees.
“The better the job of isolation the better job we do of social distancing. Wearing face masks in public the fewer the number of cases. The fewer the deaths,” Williamson said.
Harris said it will not be easy. “If we could wave a wand and everybody could stay at home for a month we would do away with this in a month. Clearly that is not realistic,” he said.
Harris said it’s unsure what sort of steps or public health orders may come out if there is a second wave. The only thing that will help is what has been successful so far, social distancing and contact tracing.