Surging coronavirus cases in WA signal another wave is here

Cases of COVID-19 in Washington are surging to numbers the state hasn’t seen since July.

“I’m worried. I’m extremely worried, which is why we called off our Thanksgiving as a family,” Kristine Rooke of Kirkland said.

From the very onset of the pandemic, Rooke has been taking COVID-19 very seriously. That’s because she lives right down the street from the Life Care Center of Kirkland, which was initially ground zero for coronavirus in the United States.

“It just brought a really dark cloud over the neighborhood,” Rooke added.

With cases surging again and more holidays around the corner, Dr. Paul Pottinger from University of Washington Medicine is concerned that this isn’t the worst of it.

“This is another wave. Is it going to be bigger than the last one? Yes, it sure looks like it will. To me, the question is how long will we let it go on? And how high will we let that spike?” Dr. Pottinger said.

But he said we can still turn things around.

“What will make a difference will be a really concerted effort like everybody to be really diligent, especially as we go into the holidays and to try to flatten that curve,” Dr. Pottinger added.

For Rooke, it’s not easy. Just in the last few months, her father has died, then her brother. Neither were related to coronavirus but because of it, they haven’t been able to properly say goodbye. Though they desperately want to gather as a family, she says they’re making hard sacrifices to protect her mother.

“As much as we love our family, I think we all are in agreement, Mom comes first,” Rooke explained. “Mom is extremely grateful but she’s also extremely sad because she’s older. And she said to me the other day. ‘I just don’t know how many other Thanksgivings I’m going to have.’”

Dr. Pottinger said it’s not just your loved ones you need to think about, as COVID-19 collides with flu season, which usually peaks in the region in January.

“If our hospital is full because so many people are sick, then that makes it very difficult for us; and in theory, would put us in very difficult positions in terms of making choices we don’t ever want to have made,” Dr. Pottinger said.