MYNORTHWEST NEWS

What can we expect from COVID-19 outbreak with summer looming?

May 26, 2020, 8:12 AM | Updated: 10:39 am

alki...

Alki Beach. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

As we approach the summer months, many are wondering what that will mean for the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 is ‘not the death of Seafair’ this summer, say organizers

“States are to greater or lesser extents and with more or less clear plans, exiting ‘lockdowns’ designed to prevent spread of the virus. Experts are predicting dire consequences. It’s probably a little more complicated than that,” Harvard University Associate Professor Bill Hanage detailed.

Even with many areas beginning to reopen, Hanage points out that the pandemic has already changed the way people interact.

That will likely play into how the virus spreads when restrictions begin to relax this summer.

“The first surge will have changed the sorts of contacts people make. Heightened awareness will likely make folks wary,” Hanage noted. “We’re not gonna flip back to March, but with better weather.”

That being so, he also warns that “this doesn’t mean we’re done with this,” thanks in large part to a lack of large-scale immunity.

Even in Sweden — which infamously decided not to enact strict distancing measures — recent testing revealed that just 7% of Stockholm residents are immune to the virus. In order to achieve true herd immunity, that number needs to be up around 60%.

Stateside, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty as to what we can expect this summer.

“What it does mean is that the immediate future of the pandemic is unclear,” Hanage said. “What we should expect in outline is more disease, and more death. Local flare ups, and eventually larger outbreaks in population centers. But when exactly and where is not readily predictable.”

Washingtonians can expect depressing fall after angry summer

Like many of his colleagues, he advocates for increased testing in place to detect these flare ups, and to “prepare for the fall when more time indoors will drive transmission up again.”

“Stopping transmission earlier prevents more cases in the future,” Hanage said. “Alert readers will recall epidemiologists were saying this in early March. This is a mistake we shouldn’t make again. We need testing.”

MyNorthwest News

Image: Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloo...

Associated Press

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously preserved access to an abortion medication that was used in nearly two-thirds of U.S. procedures.

1 hour ago

starbucks supreme court...

Associated Press

Supreme Court, siding with Starbucks, makes it harder for NLRB to win court orders in labor disputes

The Supreme Court case began in February 2022, when Starbucks fired seven workers who were trying to unionize their Tennessee store.

2 hours ago

seattle FBI...

Frank Sumrall

SWAT arrests armed woman after she barricades herself inside Seattle FBI building

An armed woman barricaded herself in the visitor lobby of the FBI Seattle building in downtown Seattle Wednesday afternoon.

5 hours ago

windshield hammer...

Frank Sumrall

Customer threats cause Seattle barista to smash customer’s windshield with hammer

A barista in South Seattle used a hammer to bash in a customer’s windshield after he allegedly threatened her and the coffee stand's customers.

6 hours ago

uw president cauce...

Frank Sumrall

UW President Ana Mari Cauce to step down after 10 years

UW President Ana Mari Cauce will step down from leading the university once her second five-year term ends in June 2025.

23 hours ago

Image: All lanes on Interstate 5 south in Everett were closed on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. It cause...

Steve Coogan

Shooting caused all lanes on I-5 south in Everett to close Wednesday

The Washington State Patrol is investigating a shooting that occurred late Wednesday morning I-5 south that closed all lanes for drivers.

24 hours ago

What can we expect from COVID-19 outbreak with summer looming?