As more Massachusetts towns and cities find themselves in high and moderate-risk territory, coded as red and yellow on the state’s coronavirus map, Massachusetts seems to be entering a COVID-19 autumn, as Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Michael Mina puts it. Without fast intervention now, Mina warns there may be a “massive uptick in cases as the winter sets in.”
Epidemiologists often use the analogy of a forest fire to describe epidemics. Over the summer, when infection rates were low, the pandemic felt controllable with only a few small fires smoldering in hot spots like Chelsea and Revere. Businesses, gyms and restaurants were opening back up. But now, epidemiologists are seeing smoke alarms everywhere.
“We have a huge number of little sparks happening throughout the entirety of the forest,” Mina says.