The Latest Surge in COVID-19 Cases, and What We Do Now

Kyla Fung, Staff Writer

In the past month, COVID-19 cases in various states have grown tremendously, alarming experts and citizens alike. According to an article from Healthline, the daily average of new COVID cases has increased 54 percent in just the last 2 weeks–a shockingly rapid amount of growth accompanying the already troubling reality that there are over 100,000 cases per day in the U.S. As stated by The New York Times, the United States has already reported over 10 million COVID cases since March and over 200,000 deaths. In Minnesota alone, nearly 200,000 cases have been confirmed with over 2800 deaths.

For more recent versions of these graphs, visit this site:

 As the virus continues to spread with no indication of backing down, we are faced with many questions: Why is this happening? Will this happen again? And when will it finally end?

First, let’s take a look at the causes of this new surge in COVID cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID cases are increasing in nearly 75% of America’s landmass. Though cases were already projected to rise as the temperature drops (colder weather means more people staying or congregating indoors, which in turn leads to a higher chance of spreading the virus), cases have been escalating a lot faster – and sooner – than expected.

This rapid rise is related to the tragic growth of widespread ignorance about the virus, especially in younger generations. Many young adults and teens have been continuing to gather for parties in blatant violation of official government restrictions to social distance and quarantine. This congregation has accounted for the bulk of new infections. This impatience and refusal to heed government warnings only serve to make the situation worse and may lead to a longer quarantine if the virus is not contained. 

Jin Bang, ‘22, said that “the amount of deaths and things experts have said” have led her to believe the virus is “very severe.” She thinks that “it’s sad to know that people of all ages […] are dying because of this virus,” and urged others to stop “being careless about protecting themselves and others.” 

Jin also said that “just because someone doesn’t wear a mask, it doesn’t mean they’re only risking themselves. They’re risking spreading the virus to others who may not be able to survive it.” 

With this, Jin brought up an important point – those who purposely ignore social distancing precautions are not only subjecting themselves to the virus, but are selfishly putting others at risk. Although a young person and their friends may be healthy and young, there’s no way of knowing who they may eventually transmit the virus to–and no way of knowing whether or not that person who has contracted the virus will be able to recover. 

In response to the rise of COVID cases, schools have been limiting in-person classes in an attempt to flatten the curve.

When asked her opinion on MHS’s role in combating the spread of COVID, Jin expressed her concern over the amount of people clustered in the common areas in MHS during Skipper Wednesdays. 

She said that she “sees a lot of people just sitting wherever and moving socially distanced chairs without anybody taking note.” 

According to a message from Minnetonka Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Peterson, there is a likely chance that schools will further their isolation and be switched to full e-learning due to the rise of COVID numbers. 

He said that if the 14-day COVID case rate “reaches 30.0 [per 100,000 people], the county or state could force all of our Grades 6-12 students to be in school virtually.” This would “shut down both middle schools as well as require high school students to stop coming into school at all.” 

Although this is certainly unfortunate, this change is a direct result of people disregarding precautions advised by the government and health organizations. 

At press time, Peterson had signaled that all schools in the Minnetonka School District will move to e-learning starting Wednesday, December 2. 

Although it is certainly difficult to have less social interaction daily, with COVID numbers on the rise, it is more important than ever to heed safety precautions and government warnings during this time. Until a vaccine can be distributed, the sacrifice will all be worth it when many more lives are saved.