As winter approaches and temperatures drop, the epidemic is more threatening than ever. But is a fifth wave possible? Four elements prove that we must be careful.
Although daily life is almost back to normal, the Covid-19 epidemic is never far away. What if France was hit by a fifth wave? The indicators and the number of cases detected have increased slightly for several weeks. According to the latest studies from the Institut Pasteur, the evolution of the epidemic is rather positive but we must still remain cautious. Four elements suggest in particular that a new wave is possible at the approach of winter according to our colleagues from West France.
1 – The resumption of the epidemic in certain departments
Figures that are not reassuring. While some regions have almost got rid of Covid-19, for others the effect is the opposite. During a press conference on October 7, Gabriel Attal was clear: “The epidemic is no longer receding”. In fact, around thirty departments would again be hit hard by the virus. Starting with Mayenne, where cases increase daily in people over 60 years old.
2 – The return of cold and winter
The approach of winter is always synonymous with illness. Flu, colds but also Covid-19. This season attracts different germs for several reasons. First of all, the drop in temperatures favors the transmission of viruses. Then, the spaces are closed to insulate from the cold and are not as ventilated as in summer. Elements that could once again trigger a peak in the epidemic. “The coming period requires greater vigilance”, had explained the spokesperson of the government in the same press point.
3 – The vaccine loses its effectiveness over the months
It has been several months since the majority of French people have been vaccinated and had the injection of two doses. Does the vaccine lose effectiveness? Affirmative, according to the Covid-19 Scientific Council. Two months after the last dose, the vaccine becomes 90% effective. After six months, the protection given by the product increases to 50%. Therefore, the third dose will be a central element for a third wave.
4 – Endangered barrier gestures
After a year off and three confinements, including a strict one, the French have once again returned to outings and social interactions. But barrier gestures and wearing a mask are less and less respected. “Lotos, balls, card games … Social life has resumed among active retirees, we kiss and forget the mask”, detailed Luc Duquesnel, general practitioner in Mayenne, in the columns of Ouest-France. In young people, relaxation is also present, due to a certain weariness. For scientists, barrier gestures are still essential to avoid the resumption of the epidemic.