COVID’s Autumn Attack


Emma Stokic, News Decoder Ambassodor

    Eight months have passed since COVID-19 began its antagonistic takeover of the world. In the spring, social distancing was required. Businesses, schools, and travel were shut down. Apocalyptic precautions were taken while daily U.S. cases ranged from two to thirty thousand. Summer’s arrival seemed to draw the overpowering desire for normalcy again. Instead of caution, masks, and mindful judgment, people packed sunscreen and a cool pair of shades in their beach bags. As a result, COVID cases peaked in mid-July at a daily rate of seventy to eighty thousand. 

     Once school uniforms replaced beachwear in August, cases seemed to slow down, but this hiatus did not last long. Now, the days get shorter, the leaves change color, but US COVID cases once again skyrocket, reaching fifty to sixty thousand cases each day. One month ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, warned people of this predicted development.

     “We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said. 

     CDC Deputy Director Jay Butler, MD, provides convincing statistics to back up Fauci’s claim.

     “Unfortunately, we’re seeing a distressing trend here with COVID-19 in the United States, with COVID-19 cases increasing in nearly 75% of the country,” Butler said. “The past week, we’ve seen nearly 60,000 cases a day on average”

     So, what is causing this autumn attack?

     The reopening of schools and universities is an evident factor. The CDC reported a 55 percent national increase in weekly cases among people aged 18 to 22 between August 2nd and September 5th. There have been more than 130,000 cases at more than 1,3000 American colleges, according to the New York Times. Back to school season calls for more than just classes and homework; other gatherings such as sports and student-organized parties are a part of the package deal. 

     Along with chaos and controversy, the upcoming election also contributes to the spread of COVID. Both political rallies and formal White House events stir up a crowd- often a maskless one. According to ABC News, Amy Coney Barrett’s nominating gathering was connected to the infections of at least 34 people in the White House, including the President and First Lady themselves.  

Additionally, the inevitable fall flu season brings fear of overwhelming the healthcare system even further.

     “I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I’m not predicting,” Fauci said. 

     After months of staying indoors, it can be difficult to always stay on top of your guard regarding the pandemic. Still, now it is more important than ever to slow this upward trend in infections before it again grows out of control. 

     “We’ve been through this before,” Fauci said. “Don’t ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try and look at the rosy side of things.”