Issues & Insights

COVID Is Revving Up For Another Round

The number of deaths from COVID-19 is way down from its peak and pandemic-related restrictions and mandates have virtually disappeared, but there are hints we are in for a late summer surge in infections.

Most of us know people, first- or second-hand who have been infected recently. The brother-in-law of a friend of mine attended a baby shower suffering from what he thought were summer allergies … and gave COVID to almost every other attendee. In addition, two distinguished academic physicians known for dispensing advice on COVID recently had serious outcomes from their own bouts with the infection. 

In early July, Dr. Bob Wachter, the chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, tweeted about his COVID experience. He had awakened with brain fog and a fever and sweating and took a hot shower, which dropped his blood pressure and caused him to lose consciousness. He later tweeted: “I work (sic) up in a bloody pool on my bathroom floor. There was a dent in the lid of a trashcan, likely where my head had hit. I remembered nothing. As I managed to get up, it was clear that my face was going to need stitches, and more than a couple.”

He had a black eye, a couple of lacerations that required stitches, a subdural hematoma, and a fractured vertebra.

Courtesy: Dr. Bob Wachter via Twitter

Professor Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, contracted COVID in March, apparently while “hosting a few (tested) guests for dinner and attending a small, uncrowded music show (wearing an N-95 mask).” He was one of three people infected at the event.

Within several weeks, Dr. Osterholm experienced the onset of long COVID: “By week[s] three and four, the fatigue really set in worse than during the illness itself. And I started having memory loss. If you’d asked me, ‘What’s a Champagne and orange juice drink?’ I couldn’t have thought of the word mimosa.”

These accounts are anecdotes, of course, and as the saying goes, in medicine the plural of anecdote is not data. But there are actual data, as well.

The U.S. recorded a 10% increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions for the week that ended July 15 compared with the previous seven-day period. They are rising fastest in the South, Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states. Emergency department visits have also begun to increase:

The increases in hospitalizations and test positivity are consistent with upticks in SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in wastewater nationwide, which are most pronounced in the South and West. 

Reading the tea leaves, Dr. Brendan Jackson, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, told National Public Radio, “This could be the start of a late summer wave.” Or, as University of Texas epidemiologist, Katelyn Jetelina put it last week, “here we are yet again.”

There’s more, however. The SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to evolve, and there are some new mutants that could be more immune-evasive than its predecessors. 

I agree that we’re in for some sort of surge, especially with schools soon to reopen. So, where, exactly, does that leave us?

For one thing, it should not leave us underestimating the importance of avoiding COVID infection in the first place.  Although the COVID mortality rate is under 1 percent, the incidence of long COVID – the persistence of symptoms, many of them serious, or the appearance of new ones following apparent recovery – is much higher.

According to the most recent CDC data, just over 15% of U.S. adults ever had long COVID, and 5.8% (about 15 million) currently have it. But as pediatric health researcher Dr. Karen Bonuck wrote recently: “For a condition that’s fallen off the radar for those untouched by it, the percentages of U.S. adults reporting any (4.9%) and significant (1.5%) activity limitations is astonishing.” 

Researchers at Imperial College London minced no words in putting long COVID worldwide into perspective: “The oncoming burden of long COVID faced by patients, health-care providers, governments and economies is so large as to be unfathomable.”

People at high risk for COVID complications, such as older people and those with comorbidities, should ensure that they’re taking protective measures. They include being up to date on COVID vaccines (including the new round expected to be available in September or October), wearing a mask in moderate- or high-risk situations, testing if they feel sick, and getting the appropriate medicines quickly if they test positive.

Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Glenn Swogger Distinguished Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology.

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.



  • Seriously? You’re running virus fear-porn from a former FDA guy here, including advice to take “vaccines” and wear useless face-diapers?

  • A factual, useful article on I&I? What’s happening?

    I got COVID for the first time in June. I was miserable for a day. My wife got it from me, presumably. Her symtoms lasted for weeks.

  • What a load of crap! Why, after all the proof totally debunking everything this moron said, would I&I give him a platform to sure more lies?

  • Hello-o!! Masks are more useless than wearing garlic. And those mRNA faux vax aren’t “safe and effective”.
    Stop the panic porn!

  • I’m just a layman, but the minute perforations in cloth masks can’t stop the virus. Virus’ are many times smaller than the perforations. Now I don’t know about N-95 masks, but if the doctor was wearing one and he still got COVID, how effective can it be?
    Now we are dealing, according to Dr. Miller, with long COVID. But there are no tests to show it, actually, is long COVID (at least none that I’m aware of). So anything that makes you feel bad after COVID has gone away is attributed to “long COVID.” Assuming this is so (ie. it is long COVID), why isn’t it presumed that the vax’s caused the long COVID?
    I’d be more hesitant about saying this, but our esteemed medical community (that is, most of them) told us that masks and lockdowns were necessary-without mentioning the possibility of a blowback (for exp. for one thing, obesity of adults and kids). Also, vax’s were determined and promoted as being safe and effective by the self-same medical community. But they were neither.
    So, excuse me, if I appear as a doubting thomas after reading Dr.Miller’s column. It’s not that I disagree with him about COVID spreading its tentacles once again in the fall, but I’m skeptical about all his other allegations. Doctors of the medical community told us many things that weren’t so; they either undeliberately misled us, or for politics sake, intentionally misled us.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: