A surge in Covid-19 cases has got a lot of people worried about another lockdown. The first week of June, most states started to reopen for business. So, we thought life would slowly get back to normal — or at least a new type of normal. We could head out to restaurants with friends, visit family, and even get a haircut. Is that about to end? Could there be another lockdown?
The threat of a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks could send us all back home. Unfortunately, after spending months cooped up inside, we’ve probably run out of things to watch on Netflix. Also, it’s vacation time, and most of us need to get away to put our Covid-19 worries to rest. Even President Trump seems keen to give us $4,000 in tax breaks to take a US-based vacation.
But politicians are hesitant to impose lockdown restrictions as they could destroy the economy even more. Some states in the U.S. are rolling back some reopening plans. But others are pushing ahead, trying to get local economies back on their feet. Some of the top people in government have said there will never be another lockdown.
What are the chances of new lockdown orders being imposed? This article examines how likely it is that the U.S. goes into lockdown again. Read on to find out more.
A Surge in Coronavirus Cases — The Latest News
News about Covid-19 seems to change as fast as the nasty virus spreads. After the coronavirus became big news in the U.S. in March, there was a peak in April of 34,696 daily confirmed cases. In the weeks until the middle of June, there was a steady drop — so, seemingly good news. By June, most states had lifted many of their lockdown restrictions.
But there’s a new worrying trend. The end of June saw a surge in Covid-19 cases. The New York Times reported that on July 3, there was a record of 56,567 new cases recorded in 24 hours. What else do we know about the latest surge in cases? Here are a few facts about the spread of Covid-19 in July:
- Reports show that, worldwide, over 11.4 million confirmed Covid-19 cases have resulted in 533,958 deaths.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 45 states are seeing a surge in positive cases.
- The CDC reports that there are over 3 million confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 132,000 deaths.
- USA Today reports that at least 21 states are putting on hold or scaling back their reopening plans.
- A recent surge in cases has been seen in Florida, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Idaho, and Mississippi.
Will There Be Another Lockdown?
It’s already happening — new lockdown restrictions are coming into force. Some of the states experiencing the sharpest rise have ordered new shutdown orders on restaurants, bars, museums, and beaches. Other states are delaying the move to their next reopening phase.
To prevent a complete lockdown, many states allow non-essential businesses to stay open as long as people wear face masks. For example, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf said that face coverings are mandatory “whenever anyone leaves home.” The Health Secretary of Pennsylvania noted that “My mask protects you, and your mask protects me.”
Related reading: Do face masks protect against coronavirus infection?
Some states are avoiding more lockdowns by pressing on with their reopening plans. In Florida — a state with a sizable surge in recent Covid-19 cases — Governor Ron DeSantis said there are no plans to impose any new lockdown restrictions on the state. Regarding the use of face coverings, DeSantis said that they will not force people to wear masks, but they will “trust people to make good decisions.”
DeSantis — similar to president Trump and Whitehouse officials — says that testing more people for Covid-19 resulted in a seeming surge of cases. However, these are the number of tests, not the number of people tested. One person can be tested multiple times to confirm Covid-19. During that time, though, there was an increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases.
Will there be another nationwide lockdown?
The novel coronavirus is a highly infectious disease. Lockdowns can’t wipe a disease off the face of the earth. What they can do is delay infections and help “flatten the curve” so healthcare systems don’t get overrun. The initial lockdowns in the U.S. were successful in this regard.
But the disease is still out there. Now that people are out and about more, it makes sense that infection numbers would increase. Fortunately, death rates of Covid-19 haven’t increased since lockdown restrictions were lifted. Also, healthcare systems aren’t in danger of being overrun despite the increase in positive cases.
It seems unlikely that there will be a nationwide lockdown in the U.S. The news agency Reuters quoted President Trump as saying that “we won’t be closing the country again.” Other officials in the Trump administration have repeated those words — no more lockdowns on the country’s economy.
More Lockdowns Happening in Other Countries
Many countries around the world experienced surges in Covid-19 cases when restrictions were lifted. As a result, officials imposed more lockdown restrictions to help curb the spread of coronavirus. What do we know from those countries? Here’s a quick look at some facts and figures:
- United Kingdom — The U.K. government removed lockdown restrictions on July 4. However, a sharp spike in cases in Leicester meant that another lockdown in that region was ordered. Businesses found breaking the restrictions could face fines of up to $4,000.
- China — A surge in new coronavirus cases resulted in another lockdown in parts of Beijing and other provinces. This is even though those areas had gone nearly two months without any new cases.
- Australia — A record rise in Covid-19 cases in Melbourne caused another severe lockdown. Also, residents of some public housing buildings are under strict stay-at-home orders, with police guarding entrances to the premises. Also, the New South Wales and Victoria border is closed to travel.
- Spain — After easing restrictions, some areas of Spain saw a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases. The town of A Mariña in Lugo, Galicia, was put under strict lockdown orders with all non-essential businesses closing. Face masks ordinances apply to all public areas, including beaches.
The Bottom Line on Lockdown 2.0
Just when we thought it was safe to venture out of home, threats of another lockdown are looming. A surge in Covid-19 cases makes many people worried about venturing outside, even if restrictions are easing in some places. It’s too early to say if there will be another lockdown or not.
Many officials say that the surge in cases is due to people feeling more relaxed about Covid-19. To protect yourself from catching Covid-19, the advice from the CDC remains the same:
- Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face
- Sneeze or cough into your elbow or disposable tissue
- Maintain a distance of six feet from people not in your household
- Wear a cloth face covering when in public spaces and social distancing is difficult
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.