The rebound in COVID cases is already here: the only question is whether the fourth wave is inevitable and how it will affect us if we cannot stop it
Spain is already experiencing a rebound in the pandemic that affects numerous autonomous communities. Carolina Darias herself, Minister of Health, I recognized him on Sunday; but it is also that it is not an isolated phenomenon but it comes after Germany announce a four-week partial lockdown and France will begin to study a national closure. In the end, as the WHO noted last week, Europe accounts for almost half of the 2.8 million new cases of coronaviruses reported worldwide.
Spain on the brink of the fourth wave, in a single graph
There is much to be said about the risk that Spain will enter a new wave of the pandemic, the fourth. However, before going into detail, It is worth looking at the epidemiological situation of the country in a graphical view. After all, a picture is often worth a thousand words.
In the following series of graphs, you can see the epidemiological trend of each of the 17 autonomous communities, Ceuta and Melilla. To simplify the data, we have used a three-color traffic light in which green symbolizes a decrease and / or stabilization of cases; amber, a slight rebound; and red, a severe rebound. As you can see, four communities have a difficult situation; five more are heading for a similar situation and the rest hold. However, everything seems to indicate that the situation is getting worse at times.
It is unavoidable?
Will a wave with vaccines be the same as a wave without vaccines? This is one of the central ideas driving the rush to vaccinate: conviction (endorsed by countries like Israel or by highly controlled environments such as Spanish residences) about what vaccination can bend the contagion curve; it can bring down the pandemic.
Therefore, as the percentages of immunized people grow, the expectation that the “fourth wave” will be similar to the previous ones disappears. We have learned enough about the virus to know that we have tools to control the exponential growth of cases and, If the population at risk is protected, it is reasonable to think that the next wave will be something very different from the previous ones.: there will be less hospital saturation, fewer deaths, less need for radical measures that paralyze the social and economic metabolism. Or so we hope.
The promise of true normality. Or what is similar, the end of the pandemic. Because, with all the doubts that remain on the table (the new variants, institutional problems or the economic crisis), the efficacy of vaccines has managed to draw a clear horizon for the end of the pandemic. It is true that, as the WHO said, in the world the end will be delayed (even three or four more years), but the uncertainties have been reduced to a practical question: how many waves will arrive before we are ready?
A rebound that may come too soon. Because let’s remember that the ministry hopes to finish vaccinating those over 80 years of age “In the next weeks“In other words, despite the relative optimism derived from the uneven progress of the vaccination campaign in the country, we have a good part of the population at risk still unvaccinated. And no, the millions of vaccines we expect in the coming weeks It does not seem that they will be able to close this waterway.
However, we are not sure how the pandemic is going to behave in a context of good temperatures that allows most of the daily activities to be carried out outdoors in a natural way. Although more than a year after SARS-CoV-2 broke into our lives we are not clear what role seasonality plays, there are reasons to think that spring brings certain social practices that will act as a natural brake on the spread of the virus.
In short, once again we are faced with an upturn in cases without really knowing what awaits us and, perhaps worse, not knowing if we have learned what we need of all the previous waves.
Image | CLinic Hospital