Editor’s Note: Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own.

Unless we act now, the US could be in for a long, hard, deadly winter.

Covid-19 cases have ticked up in 21 states. In New York City, positive Covid-19 tests have increased so significantly that they’ve driven the city’s positive rate above 3% — lower than in other parts of the US, but still the highest daily rate New York has seen since June.

And Europe is already in its second wave, with the UK and France recording the most cases since the beginning of the pandemic and sobering signs from other countries such as the Czech Republic and Spain, where the health minister said Friday his government has recommended a total lockdown in Madrid.

A perfect storm for a major Covid-19 resurgence looms in many parts of the world. With rates down and life returning to something resembling normal, a false sense of security seems to have taken hold, especially in the United States.

Masks are coming off. Gatherings are getting bigger and personal safety protocols looser. Schools, gyms, salons and indoor restaurants are reopening. Many students have returned to college campuses, where they are already socializing in groups and spreading the virus.

Temperatures outdoors are dropping, which will inevitably push many more people inside to dine, exercise, celebrate and socialize. Cases in some parts of Brooklyn and Queens “continue to grow at an alarming rate,” said the New York City health department Monday. Part-time in-person learning just began Tuesday for New York City schools, which as of a week ago had already seen Covid-19 cases in 100 buildings, according to The New York Times.

The question, experts say, isn’t whether a second wave is coming; it’s how devastating a second wave will be.

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