4th December 2020
Writing: Prajesh Adapa (Year 9)
Editing: Aaron Arora (Year 10)
What is a ‘wave’?
A wave - in terms of a pandemic - refers to a surge in the number of confirmed cases and usually occurs at times such as winter as a result of poor weather. Other reasons for a wave to take into account include abnormal social interactions between people, which is most likely to happen at holiday times. If the data was taken from a pandemic and represented on a graph it would be noticed that there was a sudden increase in the number of people infected which would result in a structure that would represent a crest. Even though the weather was fairly nice during the first wave, many were oblivious to the threat that they had at hand and this led to the rapid rise in cases.
How serious is a wave?
When the ‘seriousness’ of the wave is mentioned it should be apparent that it will be vague. Why this topic is vague comes down to the fact that seriousness is very abstract and changes from person to person. Only when the data is put in relatively to itself, the situation can be assessed. In the graph below, it is clear that when the pandemic is not in process of cycling through a wave, the daily confirmed cases should be below 1000. During the first wave (between the start of March and the end of June), cases peaked at around 6000 daily confirmed cases. During a wave, we can expect, roughly, that cases will increase six-fold which results in 5000 more infected than when there was no wave. By the standards of strain put on the government and loss of life, it can be considered ‘serious’.
How will the second wave be different?
Due to the terrible weather that had been forecast, scientists expect that the second wave will be much worse than its predecessor. The terrible weather conditions and ease of restrictions have fuelled the spread of coronavirus around many households. Bored by the familiarity of their house, some have visited others without a care - oblivious to the logic behind putting their child in isolated class bubbles. Of course, it should be understood that humans will want to socially interact with one another once more as it makes us who we are, but this led to many people becoming patients and putting an unhealthy strain on essential workers. So when all this is weighed it strengthens the conclusion made at the start. On top of this, it should not be forgotten that the number of social workers has decreased as they have fallen prey to a merciless beast.
What does the second wave mean for everyone?
Everyone is affected by the pandemic whether they like it or not. Businesses that have just had a quick sigh of relief as customers came back will be dismayed that another lockdown has arrived. This wave will most likely wipe out small businesses entirely as the government cannot afford to give the whole county enough of a paycheck to run the show. Schools will be threatened with the grim scenario of shutting down and losing their pupils on a downward spiral in their academic progress. Many employers will reduce their number of employees as possible to be able to continue with their trade without an accumulating pile of debt. This will cause the average worker to be rendered unable to pay taxes. Like a ripple, the government will be trapped as the shortage of money threatens the state of the country. All the money loaned out now will have to be returned and the chosen hands will be those of the next generation. All in all, the economy will suffer.
The UK is (unfortunately) still in the second wave and is likely to stay until the passing of Christmas. It has recently been announced that a vaccine has been approved but it still has to get to the people. The vulnerable have the highest priority so it will take time to reach every single person in this reasonably large country. Even though the vulnerable might be safe it does not mean the average person will stop getting infected. Cases will continue, especially in children who will have the least priority, and may want to visit their elderly loved ones. These students are going to school and are still likely carriers: if your older relatives are not top priority but not fully protected they can still get infected.
STAY SAFE AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!