How accurate are the pandemic-guessers about predicting the next six months?

Health professionals and scientists are predicting a second wave of COVID-19 infections this winter. Why? Since the 1700s, nearly every pandemic has had a serious reinfection period starting approximately six months after the pandemic started.

Second Wave Fear?

We are being told that the second wave of COVID-19 will occur this Fall and Winter – six months after it started in the Spring of 2020. Then, we are to expect more waves, but smaller waves in 2021. It seems like a never-ending national emergency to keep everyone fearful and inside their homes as much as possible.

The Health industry is gearing up for another season of influenza that will coincide with the second wave of COVID-19. And, of course, the ever-present common cold will be heightened this winter because everything else is.

Second Wave Hype?

What have we learned over the past six months or so about COVID-19 and treatment options? We have learned to quarantine people. The mere act of keeping people separated reduces infections. Early on, nursing home deaths were rampant. The elderly, especially those with pre-existing conditions, are being protected better which reduces the spread of the virus.

The elderly population is not as exposed to infection. That group should continue to be protected through this winter and during 2021. Younger people are becoming infected at a much greater rate than six months ago. As a group, their health is generally better than their parents and grandparents.

We know about asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic conditions that spread the disease from people appearing to be perfectly healthy. We tend to let our guard down in smaller groups, especially friends.

We saw the recent spike in COVID-19 infections with colleges going back into the Fall semester. Yet, that spike yielded no hospitalizations at most universities and no deaths. It is nice to be young and bullet-proof!


Doctors are treating patients differently now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic. People are surviving at a higher rate. Death rates are down significantly. Hospitalizations are down tremendously compared to earlier months. Something is working.

Testing has grown exponentially in every state. Over 100 million tests have been administered. It took time for the tests to be developed, vetted, and distributed.

We see weekly headlines about this state or area of the country that has exceptionally high positive tests for COVID-19. Yet, the hospitals in those areas and the daily death rate (even weeks later) do not reflect the seriousness of the virus that we experienced four to six months back.

Patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms are recovering at a much higher rate than four months ago. Doctors have learned well about how to treat patients. And it is working! Protocols change to reflect the current knowledge of what is working and what does not. We have learned from our mistakes.

Various medicines already approved by the FDA have been going through clinical trials to test their effectiveness against COVID-19. There have been some very good success (remdesivir and dexamethasone, for example) in this area.

Proning (turning patients on their stomachs) is a tactic used by doctors to increase oxygen flow to the body. This has prevented many patients from having to be put on a ventilator. The earlier success with a patient with severe COVID-19 symptoms, the better the chances are for survival.

COVID-19 Protection

Hospitals, businesses, and individuals are more aware and are using protective measures to reduce infections. Supplies of personal protective equipment are now available in greater quantities. Social distancing, hand washing, face masks, etc. are the norm for most everyone around the world.


New COVID-19 cases continue to be in our headlines as the positivity rates continue to skyrocket. Keep an eye on the hospitalization and ICU usage rates. Look at how long a patient is kept in the hospital. Pay particular attention to the daily death rates, especially about three weeks after the exponential increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

When hospitals can control the patients entering with the coronavirus and the daily death rates remain low, there is great optimism for considering the second wave as more of a ripple than a tsunami. We hear about the huge number of newly infected people every week, but almost all of them are treated by a two-week self-imposed house arrest (quarantine).

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



4 Responses

  1. Red, the epidemiologists I have been in communication with really do so not subscribe to the “wave” terminology. They tell me the didesse spreads barrd on people’s behavior. If people congregate indoors, it will spread. If people refuse to wear masks, it will spread.
    I took a totally unrelated phone call 3 days ago from a customer whose home network has had to hsve my technical attention. Coincidentally, he 8s head of plastic surgery for children at Texas Children’s Hospital and a professor at Bsylor College of Medicine. His wife is a renowned OB/GYN and BCM professor. His fauher is Vhancellor of rhe LSU Health Science Volleges including the LSU Med School and LSU Dental School. He kmoe Dr Peter Hotez VERY well snd says he is OpenOffice the BEST, and is heading up Baylor College of Medicine’s vaccine development program and fingers are crossed.

    He said to me, “Roy, there is SO much that we just do not mnow about this virus and the dangers it poses. Wear a mask when with others outside your home. Masks are performing miracles. We have discoveredvthey sre EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE at mitigating the spread of this disease.
    He also agrees that people should not be going indoors at piblic places. That will prolong the disease spread.
    In no way was he political. He says the only thing that will end this pandemic is a safe, effective vaccine. He wouldn’t even TOUCH the idea of”herd immunity”.

    I do NOT think it appropriate to attribute medical/public health measures to “political motives”. It is not helpful to getting people to wear masks snd saving lives.

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