Recent Spike in New Coronavirus Cases in Cleveland: What happened?

By Elodie Nonguierma, Research Assistant, Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research

Not too long ago, we were optimistic that we were off to a good start to flatten the COVID-19 curve. However, the recent statistics shows a surge in new cases, which makes all of us Clevelanders, and the rest of America, alarmed by the current situation. Like most people, I am saddened by the situation and infuriated by the results and would very much want to know what happened? What happened to have taken us back to the early days of the pandemic? Didn’t we learn anything from the whole situation? Or are we so oblivious to all the facts?

I am well aware that so much is happening around us right now with the racial injustice being the front-page news for the past few weeks. In fact, so much has happened for so long and people have voiced their frustrations however, less was done for them in the past. So, when injustice struck again, people forgot that there was a pandemic and all the safety measures, mainly the sheltering and the social distancing, were put aside. This fight was bigger than the pandemic and people couldn’t sit back any longer and take it, so they did what they can do: they have been voicing their opinions, as loud as they can and for weeks now so “CHANGE” could finally happen.

As days passed by and protests continued, many health and government officials were worried about the domino effect that all the commotion will have: how many more new cases of COVID-19 will come from this? Meanwhile, keep in mind that many states had already reopened their doors to the world. Businesses such as bars, restaurants, gyms, malls, offices, etc. were opened again with few adjustments to reduce the spread of the virus. Even though measures and precautions were put in place in various businesses, we still need to remain cautious and practice social distancing.

In light of the recent spike in new coronavirus cases, people were of course so quick to blame it on the protests. But what about the other ongoing daily events? Many people forget or refuse to acknowledge that most of the recent cases could be attributed to the fact that most bars, restaurants, beaches were overcrowded right after the curfew was lifted. For instance, a closer look at the Cleveland June jump in COVID-19 cases shows that contact tracers have asked COVID-19 patients whether they attended big events or rallies around the time of Cleveland’s May 30 demonstrations. They found that it doesn’t seem to be a trend among Cleveland’s new cases. This says a lot about people’s views on this pandemic.

As the virus spread to all corners of the world, we heard all kinds of conspiracies and reasonings to how certain people were immune to the disease. While there are some people who do not believe to the veracity of this pandemic, there are others who just do not care enough to take any precautions or measures. Those attitudes make it hard for health officials to contain the disease and the concerned parties to protect themselves and stay safe as many people ignore the basic safety measures like the public mask wearing and social distancing.

People need to wake up, open their eyes to reality and get on board with the common goal that is to ensure the safety of all. As a society we each play a role and should contribute to the bettering of it. If wearing a mask while in public can save a life, why not do it? Think about all the lives you are saving when making the right decision and your love ones that are being saved in the same process. Wouldn’t you want to get on board with that?