Americas

Coronavirus Briefing: What Lies Ahead

Will the virus resurge with a vengeance?


By Lara Takenaga and Jonathan Wolfe

This is the Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide to the global outbreak. Sign up here to get the briefing by email.

The C.D.C. told states to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by early November, raising concerns that the Trump administration is seeking to rush distribution before Election Day.

Pfizer’s chief executive said the company might know if its vaccine is effective by next month.

More than 833,000 U.S. workers filed for unemployment last week — a slight increase from the previous week.

Get the latest updates here, as well as maps and trackers for U.S. metro areas and vaccines in development.

‘Autumn really worries me’

As fall approaches in much of the world, many people are anxious about what will happen when cold weather forces people indoors. Will the virus resurge with a vengeance, especially as people return to offices and schools reopen?

To get a preview of the fall, we spoke to Donald G. McNeil Jr., The Times’s infectious disease expert, whose job has become envisioning the future of the coronavirus crisis.

We’ve been warned about a “fall wave” for a long time, but then we had a bad summer wave. What most worries you about the fall?

I try to avoid “wave” metaphors because each outbreak is unique. New York City and Sturgis, S.D., both had bad ones, but months apart and for different reasons: New York in February because of tourists returning from Europe; Sturgis in August because of a motorcycle rally where masks were disdained.

But yes, autumn really worries me. Outbreaks are exploding at colleges all across the nation. There may initially be fewer deaths because students are young — but professors aren’t.

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