Coronavirus | Photo by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian
With a resurgence of cases in Ohio and across the country, and new restrictions and lockdowns being placed in European countries such as Poland, there may be a second wave of restrictions coming for Dayton residents.
Other states across the country have seen a reversal in new confirmed cases, but Ohio is one of the most drastic.
Cases over the summer vs. now
Over the Summer, Governor Mike Dewine tried earnestly to slow the virus by shutting down the economy and issuing stay at home orders. For a while, it seemed to be working. The newly reported cases in Ohio over the summer were at a record low of 300 cases on June 14, according to data from the CDC and the World Health Organization.
However, the daily number of reported cases has shot up dramatically in recent weeks, with Oct. 21 reporting over 2,000 new cases in a single day, according to the same organizations.
This is not just an Ohio issue. Other States such as New Jersey and New York have reported massive spikes in case numbers, and may look at new lockdowns in the near future. European countries such as Spain and Italy have also been hit hard by a second wave of the virus, and are implementing new restrictions, such as banning travel to certain regions and a nighttime curfew.
Reasons for more new cases
CDC Doctor Robert Redfield says that small family gatherings, especially with Thanksgiving coming up, could be a factor in the rise of cases.
“But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now, is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield told U.S. governors in a meeting. “Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”
However, other experts point to a lax in following guidelines as a factor.
In a press briefing, Governor Dewine stated that “people are letting their guard down,” and that “the progress the state has made is in danger of being reversed.”
The governor stressed that following social guidelines is still as important as ever, commenting that “we’re in a crisis stage in Ohio, and this can go one way or the other.”
Dr. Stephen Blatt, medical director for Infectious Disease at TriHealth Hospitals in Cincinnati, agreed and noted that young people are increasingly the ones getting infected.
“I don’t think we reopened too soon, our numbers were very good,” Blatt said. “The problem is that people are not wearing masks. You go out and everywhere you look they’re not wearing masks.”
Blatt’s claims are accurate, especially when you look at coronavirus cases in Greene County. While young people won’t face many repercussions from the disease, they could spread it to older relatives that would need to be hospitalized.
However, in recent days in Dayton, there have been more people wearing masks and following social guidelines due to an increase in cases, and a Code Red declared in Greene County.
“For me, the pressure to wear masks seemed to be missing when the weather was warmer.” Katherine deGruchy, an adjunct instructor at the Wright State University (WSU) School of Music, commented. “But since it’s gotten colder, and there have been a lot more cases, there’s been more pressure from the University and the community to wear masks and socially distance.”
For deGruchy, WSU’s testing and safety regulations are the right thing to do in the situation.
“With Governor Dewine declaring Greene county as a code red, I think Dayton is starting to crack down again.” deGruchy said. “I don’t think more lockdowns are coming for us or anything, but I do think being careful with testing in the dorms, like what other colleges are doing, and socially distancing is the right thing to do.”
In the upcoming months, there could be an even more drastic rise in cases due to colder weather. The important thing for Wright State students and Dayton residents to do in these times is to remain vigilant and to continue to follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible, including wearing masks.