The epidemic is smoldering because of Superspreader events that initially seeded the coronavirus in the United States, with researchers pointing to human behavior and social circles as the key drivers. Even as the country approaches having half of its population adequately vaccinated, the problem persists. An epidemic of Covid-19 was connected to more than 125 cases at a church camp in South Texas in late June. In central Illinois, 85 cases were linked to a summer camp in mid-June.
Similar incidents have been reported elsewhere: a disco party in the Netherlands on June 26 was linked to 160 new cases. The Miss Mexico competition in Chihuahua was canceled in early July when over half of the contestants tested positive. Throughout the pandemic, Superspreader — sick individuals who spread the virus to a large number of people disproportionately — have fueled clusters of infection, making the virus difficult to contain.
However, when the pandemic progresses, and new varieties emerge that are more transmissible or capable of causing more severe disease, human behavior remains critical. David Dowdy, an associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “It’s not just about the variants. It’s also about how people are interacting. Right now, people are definitely distancing less, masking less, going to larger gatherings, and meanwhile, vaccination rates are not going up all that fast.”