by Raneen El-Barbarawi / Staff Reporter
As the holiday season approaches and Americans become eager to gather around their loved ones, they may be in for a nasty treat: the second wave of COVID-19.
“I feel that the second wave of the virus is similar to the first where everyone is taking precautions in everything they do. People are definitely taking it more seriously now,” said Jabreah Driver, a junior psychology major.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advised that most parts of the country will need to take drastic measures such as shutdowns and suspensions in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
This is because Dr. Fauci emphasized that the nation will face a surge of cases that’ll likely increase after Thanksgiving festivities. However, the surge may not be fully known until after Christmas, where there may likely be another surge of cases, Fauci said.
On the other hand, students like Lydia Groezinger, an undecided freshman major, felt otherwise about the rising COVID-19 rates.
“I wasn’t expecting the second wave to happen when it did. But, in a sense, we all knew it was going to happen at some point,” Groezinger said.
According to Medicine Net, the second wave of COVID-19 refers to the virus infecting one group of people first and then decreasing to only come back and increase in a different part of the population, resulting in another wave of infections.
This has led the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model to predict that the U.S. will surpass half-a-million COVID-19 deaths by April. As of Dec. 6 2020, there are a total of 14.7 million cases and 281,000 deaths.
But Fauci and other health officials remain optimistic because some hospitals are already beginning to obtain vaccines, but are waiting for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that vaccines should be given to healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients first.
“It is frustrating that the numbers were down and then went up; but it was predicted that we would have a second wave, so I’m not surprised. I’m surprised that it was a bit later, however, because it was predicted to be in September, but Chicago luckily didn’t,” said Kamaria Grayson, a freshman integrated marketing major.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois has recorded more coronavirus deaths than any other state in the last seven days, with 13,000 deaths as of Dec. 5.
Therefore, Governor Pritzker said that Illinois is expecting to receive more than 100,000 vaccine doses for its first shipment which can happen within the month of December, according to Chicago health officials.
In fact, the “first mass air shipment” of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport on Nov. 27.
Following Lori Lightfoot’s advised protocols on staying at home and avoiding large gatherings, Governor Pritzker added that Tier 3, the stage in which Illinois has been at since mid-November, will shut down indoor bar and restaurant services, close some businesses, including casinos and museums, and imposed stricter restrictions on capacity limits in areas such as gyms and salons.
“Lots of places have been closing, so it’s kind of hard living in a city where there is normally an endless number of things to do, versus now when there are so many COVID-19 restrictions,” said Groezinger.
Roosevelt University is attempting to ensure the safety of students by continuing to practice six feet social distancing measures while enforcing strict mask and sanitizing procedures. Roosevelt is also keeping large spaces closed such as the 14th floor recreational room and the gym, and requiring a self-assessment before leaving and entering the school.
“Roosevelt is doing the same thing that they’ve been doing, which is working, so I’m not mad at them. I do think that Roosevelt is putting their best efforts forward when it comes to making sure that we’re safe,” said Grayson.
“I feel like Roosevelt is very precautious with their COVID-19 procedures. Overall, I feel safe with the way they are handling it,” Groezinger added.
However, students suggested that RU should pay more attention towards the mental health of students during these unprecedented times.
“I wish Roosevelt would strongly suggest that we use the therapy services, especially during these times. COVID-19 depression is real. So, if the school advertised that more, I would greatly appreciate it,” said Grayson.