An Interview with Dr. Greg Rose, Chair, Infection Prevention and Control Committee
As there has increasingly been talk about a second wave of COVID-19, Dr. Rose explained what that means, and how it might impact loosening of social distancing restrictions.
Social Distancing Impacting Second Wave
“The concept behind the second wave is that the current social distancing measures will be unsustainable in the long term and we may lose the ability to maintain them. The current modeling here in Ottawa is that if we reduce the efficacy of social distancing by 20% from the current level, then we will start to see cases adding up. If you take that model, the numbers start to increase again over the course of July and then leading to a peak in early September.”
Possible Repeat to Lockdown
“We would most likely see something similar to the last few weeks, where the numbers climbed up a little bit because of the Mother’s Day weekend, then dropped off again the week after as people went back into social isolation. Depending on the extent of changes made, we could see a much higher peak. However, I think you would see public health orders coming in place to lock down again. I don’t believe we are going to see a massive second wave akin to what was seen with the Spanish Influenza, because I just don’t think we would permit it to happen from the public health level.”
Cautious Return to Normal
“The current model is meant as a concept of what would happen when we back away from our current policies. I personally hope we don’t throw the gates wide open, but I do think that we are going to need to establish some degree of normalcy. What I would personally like to see happen is very small, incremental changes be made and then we wait two to three weeks to see if that changed anything. The problem is when you have social movements like the large gatherings at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto a few weeks ago, where we lose control over what the public is actually doing then those become very hard to predict.”