Publisher’s Note: Jill Filipovic is a New York based journalist and author of the book “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Was Left Behind”. The opinions expressed in this comment are solely their own.

If we don’t act now, the US could have a long, harsh, and deadly winter.

Covid-19 cases have increased in 21 states. In New York City, positive Covid-19 tests have increased so much that the city’s positive rate has surged over 3% – lower than other parts of the U.S., but still the highest daily rate New York has seen since June.

And Europe is already in the second wave. The UK and France are seeing the most cases since the pandemic began and sobering signs from other countries like the Czech Republic and Spain, where the health minister said on Friday his government had recommended total lockdown in Madrid.

In many parts of the world, a perfect storm threatens for a major Covid-19 resurgence. With rates falling and life returning to something normal, a false sense of security seems to have taken hold, especially in the United States.

Masks come off. Meetings keep getting bigger and personal security protocols looser. Schools, gyms, salons and indoor restaurants will reopen. Many students have returned to the college campus, where they are already socializing in groups and spreading the virus.

The outside temperatures are falling, which inevitably leads to many more people eating, exercising, partying and socializing inside. Cases in some parts of Brooklyn and Queens “continue to grow at an alarming rate,” the New York City Health Department said Monday. According to the New York Times, part-time face-to-face learning didn’t begin until Tuesday for New York schools that had Covid-19 cases in 100 buildings for a week.

The question, say experts, is not whether a second wave will come; That is how devastating a second wave will be.

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