Just weeks after states across the U.S. began re-opening, coronavirus infections are on the upswing in several states. Several states like Arizona, Utah, Texas and Florida have seen dramatic increases in daily case counts. This has given rise to some unsettling questions: Is the U.S. at the start of a second wave? Have states re-opened too soon? And have the recent widespread demonstrations against racial injustice inadvertently added fuel to the fire?

The short, unpleasant answer to the first question is that the U.S. has not even gotten through the current, first wave of infections. Since peaking at around 31,000 new daily cases on March 10, daily cases dropped to around 22,000 new cases on average by mid May and have stayed almost steady over the last four weeks. Nationwide more than 800 people continue to die day after day.

Several prominent forecasters are predicting a slow, but steady accumulation of additional deaths between now and Oct. 1 — more than 56,000 by one estimate, around 90,000 by one another.