A New York Times article highlights that 22 states are experiencing rapid increases in COVID-19 cases while reopening their economies. Although Texas, Florida, and Arizona have been particularly affected, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota finds most of the country is in a similar situation.
Escalating new cases have prompted many to prepare for future outbreaks. Restaurants across Phoenix, Ariz., are reclosing to prevent COVID-19 exposure. The Arizona Department of Health Services recently directed hospitals to activate emergency plans, expanding hospital-bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.
Others believe more drastic actions are required. Columbia University virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen recently said that at least 4 states are going to need to reinstitute stay-home orders this weeklike NOWto stop upward case trajectories.
New York may soon become one of those states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently threatened to reinstate a lockdown for Manhattan and the Hamptons if citizens continued to (allegedly) violate social-distancing rules. In his own words, Im not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the virus.
Unfortunately, the only ways to end the pandemic are herd immunity, prolonged lockdowns, or the development of a vaccine. Each option comes with its own downsides.