PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Just as more and more sports fans are heading back to stadiums and enjoying times with friends the country is seeing another wave of COVID-19 rising.
CBS News contributor Dr. David Agus from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, a straight-talking doctor, says there is reason for concern.
“The number of cases, the United States has gone up and down, we know that correlates to behavior, right now what we’re seeing are people migrating from being outdoors where the risk is spread is dramatically lower to be indoors, where the risk is spread is higher,” Dr. Agus said. “We have a group of people predominantly on the younger side who are not wearing masks and social distancing who said listen is too much. I can’t be indoors and interact, whether it be going to school or others, and we see significant spread of the virus as the weather transitions more to be in colder and we are more indoors I think we’re going to see continued in cases of the virus.”
Dr. Agus says there is no question complacency is setting in.
“America is forgetting about COVID-19 but COVID-19 is not forgetting about America,” he said. “That’s the problem – is that we are getting sick of these behavior changes we want to go back to interacting with our family, our friends we want our children to go to school we want to be at work, we want to go to parties.”
Going to gatherings is possible Dr. Agus says but always with Coronavirus in mind.
“So, if you’re in a house with good ventilation and you wear a mask you can have some interactions is preferable they’re outdoors, but as the weather changes, we really have to change our interactions,” he explained. “I can’t emphasize enough I wish I had a simpler way to push a button, in reading the virus, the mask is the only way to block droplets which is the dominant means the spread of the virus.”
As fans head to high school stadiums, and Pitt and the Steelers welcome a modest crowd to Heinz Field Dr. Agus says, “It certainly can be done safely I mean you know obviously football stadiums are very, very large, and you have the opportunity of going in groups so people that you associate isolate with as now so a family can sit together and as long as they’re separated from everyone else and wear masks, it’s doable. The NBA did it in a remarkable way in their bubble, doing things where you’re thoughtful and you use the practices that we know work are certainly possible. So shutting down cities, you know, mandating people be indoors doesn’t make a lot of sense. The key is to do it with science and if we all do the right thing, we will be able to do more of the things we love.”
But he adds you have to be hyper-vigilant.
“The problem is if you do all the right things and your family does and the person next door to you, doesn’t,” he said. “You’re still at risk. We are all one community and so this is really one of the first times we are all called together, not just to think about ourselves, but to think about others. Your health is influenced by what others do. And so it’s like smoking indoor secondhand smoke this is the equivalent, we have to care about others. And if everybody does the right thing, and we enforce penalties for people who don’t because it’s not right and they could harm people and cause significant medical issues for these people. Then I think we’re gonna have a much better outcome and be able to do some of these things and go watch this Steelers go watch the University of Pittsburgh played football.”
Dr. Agus left the conversation with a point of optimism.
He says while all of this is a pain to our normal way of life it is only temporary.
The doctor says vaccines are not far away and eventually a return to normalcy will come.