Now that evidence has mounted and the CDC has changed its tune surrounding mask wearing, the rest is up to the general population. Behavior Has definitely shifted in light of a global pandemic but it hasn’t shipped it enough. The unwillingness for many Americans to self isolate and slow the reopening of normal life is causing massive upticks in COVID-19 cases.

It raises the question whether or not the increase in cases is actually the first wave of the pandemic finding new legs rather than the emergence of a second wave. The first wave has not yet completed and the reopening in many states happen too soon.

The question many have is whether or not the curve has been flattened enough to accommodate a summer surge in cases. We were hoping for a second wave sometime in the late fall but now it appears the possibilities of another resurgence will happen much earlier.

What can be done? For one, the adoption of a mask wearing is a simple procedure that can help reduce the spread in dramatic ways. However, there are cultural problems around its use. White men in particular are unwilling to adopt a basic pandemic response in order to help other people. Mask wearing is not to prevent a user from contracting COVID-19, but rather stops the spread of droplets to other people. The idea of thinking of others primarily is one that is hard for many white Americans to adopt.

The data around the pandemic suggest that vulnerable populations, in particular visible minority groups, or at an increased risk of being infected by COVID-19. Anything we all can do to reduce the spread as economy is open to early, will help us prevent a massive uptick in cases and the continuation of significant deaths in America.