The United States has entered the third wave of COVID-19 infections as 17 states across the country have been seeing surges of cases unlike before since the pandemic started. Plus, no state in the country has seen a sustained decline of cases yet.

Public health experts are worried that this could be the largest wave in the country so far and perhaps the deadliest. They added that a surge of cases and hospitalizations are expected in the coming days since lockdowns were lifted, and pandemic fatigue has set in giving them a false perception that activities outside are at low-risk.

COVID-19 Third Wave in the US

According to the data from Johns Hopkins University, the US is closing in 8 million COVID-19 cases, with a record of 60,000 new cases on Wednesday, a record not seen since the summer.

The Atlantic reported that outbreaks have been worsening in many states across the country for over a month and new cases are at 18% this week, despite the increase of national testing efforts. Besides, COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased by 14% last week.

Unlike the past months that cases were concentrated in a few states, this week's surge of new cases is spread across the country with the Midwest as the hotspot. There are already 17 states which posted peak new cases in the past week wherein 12 of those are in the Midwest and six of 11 states in the West.

"It's not a joke when we say we swim in COVID," emergency room doctor Scott Samlan from Hammond, Indiana said. Indiana hit a record number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Not to mention cases in New Jersey and Florida continue to rise and doubled overnight, CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) found in their Solidarity trial that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine and two other drugs did not cut on hospital days and mortality rate of COVID-19.

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Pandemic Fatigue

The WHO warns of COVID-19 pandemic fatigue as areas not only in the US are starting to feel it. In the first months, COVID-19 cases in the US were concentrated in the Northeast and then the South and Sunbelt areas in the second wave. With the third wave spreading across the country, nothing seems to be the same except for the widespread distrust on scientific recommendations.

Some experts said that the country still does not have a coordinated national response but with so many misinformation about simple public health behavior, like wearing a face mask. In a way, the country is like battling two pandemics, the COVID-19 and misinformation that surrounds it.

Business Insider reports that this behavior of some Americans who struggle to follow safety measures could be caused by the pandemic fatigue that makes them less likely to remain at home or stay informed about the latest local transmission in their area.

As business started to reopen after lockdowns were lifted, this might give the people the false perception that these places are risk-free.

IHME Director Dr Christopher Murray said that there is a roller coaster phenomenon in the United States. People would adhere to wearing masks and social distancing, but then when cases seem to drop, people would also let their guard down by stopping to follow health protocols which leads to more infections. Then the cycle begins once more.

Read More: Remdesivir Does Not Cut Hospital Days and Mortality on COVID-19 Patients, WHO Study Reveals

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