Experts are now saying that the Covid second wave, which we are all concerned about, might not even happen this year. Experts are now saying that the Covid second wave, which we are all concerned about, might not even happen this year. South African are encouraged to change their behaviour and avoid attending super spreader events now that we near the festive season.
Dr Marvin Hsiao, a virologist from the University of Cape Town said:
We don’t have a reliable true currently to predict whether or when the second wave is likely to occur but it is essential to concur the context in which the question is being asked.
The virologist then says that a lot of people who ask me these questions would like to know whether these non-pharmacological interventions like wearing a mask, social distancing, avoid indoor space, etc. can be relaxed or ignored. To answer this question, Dr Hsiao says that one should look at the example of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly of European and UK countries.
In these countries, this is exactly what happened and they had a second Covid wave hit them. It is therefore recommended that whether or not in the short term we are likely to have the second wave, we still have to keep at it with these non-pharmacological interventions because it’s the only thing that we have, says Hsiao.
The second wave is now predicted to only be arriving in 2021. “It’s likely that we’ll go back to the earlier very strict lockdown. However, some countries have chosen not to where surges were seen.
From a virologist’s point of view, Hsiao says that a large scale reinfection in the short term is likely and seeing that it has already infected a large portion of the population.
On the vaccine, he says:
We have heard some messages of hope but we have no clarity on whether the ordinary citizens of South Africa will be able to access these vaccines … access to the vaccine will remain quite limited even in next year.
“I suspect that in the short term, we should continue with these non-pharmacological interventions that we have so far”
He says that he hopes for better adherence of what we are currently having and that “everything is in the details” as it all depends on what is meant by stricter measures.
The doctor also predicts that the stricter measure of lockdown has not proven to be also effective in stopping the infection over a long period. Hsiao therefore personally thinks that going back to a stricter lockdown is not the way to go but that it’s rather up to citizens to follow the rules to avoid it.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé