It seems like most Americans only needed a national holiday to overcome their fear of COVID-19.
On the Memorial Day weekend 2020, with 1.7 million cases and deaths nearing 100,000; thousands of Americans shed their masks and social-distancing norms to flood beaches, parks, and lakesides across the country. Experts had been warning of a second wave of coronavirus cases erupting in the Midwest and South days before the Memorial Day weekend. However, the warnings went in vain.
Watch: Americans forget social-distancing norms as they celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend
On Sunday, White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx expressed grave concern about a second wave due to people neglecting to maintain a safe six-foot distance and lack of facemasks in images and videos surfacing from weekend picnics across states. New research claims that at least 24 states might already be facing the second wave of positive cases as we get by the Memorial Day weekend.
“I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community.”Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn
All-American flouting of norms
Crowds thronged beaches in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks 2 which recently opened. Images and videos show pools packed with people celebrating Memorial Day without care of social distancing norms. Arkansas is already facing a “second peak”. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has stated the outbreak began from a cluster of infections at a pool party.
After inflicting heavy damage across American metropolitan cities, the coronavirus outbreak is witnessing hotspots in the rural areas. New hotspots include counties with thousands of acres of farmland, highly cramped meatpacking factories, prisons, and small hospitals. Before the Memorial Day Weekend, infectious disease top dog Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a serious reminder to people to not flout distancing norms. However, Fauci’s advice did not reach thousands of ears.
“Go out, go for a run, go for a walk, go fishing, as long as you’re not in a crowd and you’re not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus,”Dr. Anthony Fauci on a CNN town hall
The second wave
A day before the Memorial Day weekend, President Donald Trump claimed US readiness for a second outbreak while touring a Michigan-based Ford factory. Trump assured that a second outbreak will not cause much disruption.
“We now know the disease. We know the weaknesses and strengths. We’re gonna put out the fires. We’re not gonna close the country,”US President Donald Trump on preparedness for a second wave
Experts like Dr. Brittany Kmush at Syracuse University believes the US authorities should get flu shots to as many people as possible to reduce the effect of the second wave. Minimalizing the thousands of cases of flu will reduce the burden on the health system and also eradicate similar symptom-related testing confusion.
Meanwhile, President Trump celebrated his Memorial Day weekend playing golf and calling on Americans to visit the church. However, Trump did not go to the church himself. Yesterday, Trump threatened to relocate the Republican National Convention from North Carolina if the state’s Democratic governor stays in “shutdown mood”.