Infectious Disease Experts Consider COVID-19's Impact This Fall

Infectious Disease Experts Consider COVID-19's Impact This Fall
They're advocating for nonpharmaceutical interventions and public health guidance.

Half of the country, 36 states in the last few weeks headed in the wrong direction. One infectious disease expert had this to say about our near future. 

"We do have vaccines and here therapeutics coming down the pike, but the next 6 to 12 weeks will be the darkest of the pandemic, vaccines will not come available in any meaningful way the second or third quarter of next year," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota. "And so what we have right now is a major in messaging. People don't know what to believe." 

We asked Dr. Dana Hawkinson, considering his specialty in infectious diseases what that "darkness" looks like in his view.

"I think certainly it could be the darkest up to that time point. You know, we have to understand that is a longer time point and that's because really we don't understand the full impact of everything as far as infection spread until two, three, four infection cycles or incubation periods," said Hawkinson, an infectious disease expert at the University of Kansas Health System. "It's moving into the more rural areas where we know those hospitals are smaller, they don't have as many resources, so it certainly could be very dark as far as that goes, an overwhelming of health care facilities, overwhelming of other essential workers in supply chain." 

Hawkinson said we'd have to wait and see, though.

"But also encourage and really advocate for the nonpharmaceutical interventions and the public health guidance, not meeting in large groups, physical distancing and masking," he said. "That's going to be vitally important for every individual going forward."