“Second Wave” coming, Illinois Doctor warns as COVID-19 pandemic continues

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A second wave is coming.

That’s the warning an Illinois Infections Disease doctor is giving as businesses rebel against the current stay-at-home order. Dr. Robert Citronberg, MD who specializes in Infections Disease in Niles, IL has a warning for not only the people of Illinois, but the United States. 

 “Remember, the virus doesn’t move, rather people with the virus move,” said Dr. Robert Citronberg, MD whose warning comes as talk of reopening has infatuated the State of Illinois and its cabin fever residents in May. “There is precedent for the second wave. The massive Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 actually had three waves, the worst of which in terms of number of infections and deaths was the second one.”

The Doctor highlighted the warning in a recent social media post.

The second wave of the deadly Spanish flu pandemic hit in the fall of 1918 which was described as ‘destructive beyond all precedent,’ with one of the harshest issues facing survivors was physiological disturbance associated with the disease, which lead to long-enduring depression.  It was showcased in its peak by rising suicide rates in the post-pandemic world and featured in a study published in 1992 on the period by I.M. Wasserman, PhD.

The 1918 flu lasted two years and was believed by historians to mutate and spread further via wartime movements during World War I.  The virus infected 500 million worldwide killing between 20 and 50 million people.

While the Doctor’s warning isn’t met to deter reopening, it is highlighting ways to do it in a safe manner. “Re-emergence cannot be all at once and must be initiated with small groups,” Dr. Citronberg said.

A similar re-emergence plan has already been issued by Illinois’ Governor to start May.

The Infections Disease expert suggests one-on-one interactions like hair salons would ‘seem to be the safest’ as long as masking and social distancing are practiced.  That includes small group gatherings like family parties.   “Restaurants and retail stores could begin to re-open but will have to operate at far less than capacity in order to accommodate adequate social distancing.” Dr. Citronberg said.

Hair Salons are one of the groups set to reopen once a region meets Phase 3 requirements as early as the end of the month.

While businesses continue to promote social distancing, it seems to be in words only.  Such a case was highlighted last weekend after a United Airlines flight was seen packed with passengers.  United later said that was part of a free flight program.  The image was shot by Dr. Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist from the University of California.

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