Robert Redfield, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned that the next few months will be "the most difficult in the public health history of this nation."
Besides the reduced social distancing in crowded planes and trains and around holiday dinner tables on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the change in seasons is an important factor to consider while studying the recent infection outbreak.
"Outdoors, there is a lower risk for transmission from the greater air movement. The odds of getting sick are lower when you are outside compared to confined spaces like elevators and living in close proximity," said Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease physician at South Shore Health in Massachusetts. "Being in crowded spaces, you are much more likely to spread the virus."
People tend to spend more time indoors during winters. Generally, the chances of contracting the COVID-19 virus become higher as cold weather arrives because viruses are more easily transmitted by aerosols produced when people sneeze, cough, or merely speak.
The new episodes of the resurgence in COVID cases have already set off a disturbing wave throughout the country on all fronts. With COVID-19 cases reaching unprecedented levels in December and January and vaccines taking their own time to be accessible to the general public, the economic recovery is not on the near-term forecast charts. The economic outlook is clearly bleak. Many hardest hit and cash-strapped small businesses in the recent resurgence don't seem to get back on their feet without government aid.
The surging infection is understandably straining the health system as well. As we see a rise in the number of corona cases, the already overwhelmed hospitals run out of ventilators and beds in intensive care units, which is another thing of worry.
Education has been the hardest hit sector since the pandemic took the world in its grip. After a long spell of remote learning, the schools and universities began to see some light of the day during the last quarter of 2020. However, in the wake of the new wave of infections, the confusion over reopening the schools after the winter holidays is creating a highly unpredictable situation. Simultaneously, the schools are being asked to provide more Covid-19 tests for the staff and students on the state level.