From Hong Kong, a friend reports that the third wave of the pandemic has arrived. Everything is closed, restaurants, bars, even the condominium pool, and there cannot be more than two people together in public, he says, before lamenting that the plans for the summer were limited to spending more time at home.
Another friend leaves Lisbon and makes a stopover in a careless Paris, at least comparatively, with everything open and crowded, without much concern. He arrives in a New York in a state of siege, in a country where the increase in the number of cases is forcing several state governors to put the deflation in reverse.
Here, we are concerned that we have suddenly gone from being an exemplary student to a badly behaved rebel who does not even deserve to be in the graces of that other bad boy, the United Kingdom. Beside us, Spain is once again the black sheep of southern Europe and even makes Italy look like a bravo ragazzo who overcame their problems.
We are and we will enjoy the bathing season, because they left us, because we need to do it, otherwise we would most likely go crazy. However, the stone that we carry in the shoe (or slipper, in this case) is the fear, practically the certainty, that the so-called second wave is coming.
The idea that we are all nervously trying to forget during this mismatch is that after a test rentrée in September, we will face the cold and harsh reality in October of returning home, confined again, again in telework and in “tele-school”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been widely criticized for its reaction to the pandemic, with some reason, but also with some use by politicians like Donald Trump. However, it is WHO that we have, and if we listen carefully to some of the important things it says, we find that they make sense.
This week, for example, warned against the notion of the second wave. He explained that describing the evolution in terms of waves suggests that the virus is evolving out of our control, which is not true, as our behavior can decisively help to control the spread.
According to the WHO, we are still in the first wave, which is actually a gigantic wave. It will continue to rise and fall, and our best plan will be to flatten it so that it becomes something that does not disturb us.
The notion that Covid-19 is a seasonal virus is therefore wrong and dangerous, explains the WHO. Taking into account, for example, the number of cases in the USA, he enjoys the summer heat as much as we do. This is the important part of the message. The northern hemisphere cannot be complacent this summer, it must be under maximum surveillance and implement the necessary measures, especially with regard to social gatherings.
Several experts warn that the repeated use of the term "second wave" by the media and politicians like Boris Johnson is dangerous. If, on the one hand, it can be used as an alert, to say that care must be taken to avoid a new wave, on the other, it can be used to justify some decisions, such as the United Kingdom's decision to exclude Spain from the air corridor, based on in a concept that does not obey scientific criteria.
Talking about the second wave can create a false sense of security, as it indicates that we are on a break, in a time of freedom until it arrives. The clearest argument, in the end, is this - the virus hasn't left yet, so talking about its return doesn't make sense.