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Three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Temitope Fisayo1,
  2. Sonia Tsukagoshi2
  1. 1 King’s College London School of Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 Wonca Europe, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Temitope Fisayo, King’s College London School of Medicine, Guy's Campus, London SE1 9RT, UK; temitope.fisayo{at}

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COVID-19 was first reported in the UK at the end of January 2020 and lockdown announced on 23 March 2020. Many of us have uttered the words ‘when this is over’, but what does that really mean? As the first-, second- and third-order impacts of the virus manifest over different time frames, this pandemic will not necessarily be ‘over’ until we are through the impact of the ‘third wave’ of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are currently experiencing the effects of the first wave, where deaths and disability are directly linked to COVID-19. Alongside the atrocious death toll, an as yet untold number of people are living with the lasting aftermath of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection—for some, even mild COVID-19 can be debilitating for months on end, even after they are clinically cured of the infection.1

The second wave refers to those who will suffer in the medium-term due to measures taken …

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  • Contributors TF conceived and wrote the letter; ST supervised, revised and provided feedback on various drafts.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.