45 Percent of Healthcare Workers Predict at Least Three Waves of Coronavirus

A recent poll of healthcare professionals shows that we may have more than a second wave to worry about.

After months of stay at home orders and shuttered businesses, life is slowly starting to return to normal across the U.S. Now that medical experts and researchers are gaining a better understanding of the disease, we're all beginning to get a better picture of what the rest of the pandemic has in store. But, according to a recently released poll of healthcare workers, our fight against the novel coronavirus is hardly over yet. In fact, 45 percent of those healthcare professionals polled by healthcare venture firm Venrock say we can likely expect to see at least three more waves of the virus before it's all over.

Data collected from Venrock's annual Healthcare Prognosis survey for 2020 shows that 46 percent of those polled in the medical profession think there will be a second wave of coronavirus, likely to hit in the fall. But 32 percent believe that a third wave of the virus will carry on through the winter and into 2021. On top of that, 13 percent believe there will be four or more waves to come. This takes the combined total of those who believe there will be at least three waves to 45 percent—just barely below a plurality with those forecasting two waves.

Maybe the worst news from the poll? Only nine percent of medical professionals believe that we're currently living through the only surge we'll see, and that there won't be another spike in cases.

The findings also suggest that respondents may see similarities between the current coronavirus pandemic and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has previously turned to for clues as to what we can expect. Figures from 1918 show that there was a significant drop in cases over the summer before an autumn resurgence of the flu virus. That second wave claimed even more lives than the initial outbreak. Then, a third wave followed in the spring of 1919, which was more deadly than the first wave, but less than the second. With the coronavirus, many medical professionals are convinced that we're repeating history. And for more information on places that may be jumping the gun on getting back to normal, check out the Reopened States That Could Return to Lockdown.


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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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