Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the return of sports and the constant updates from leagues about when play might resume, don't lose sight of the most important factor of all: a second wave is almost certainly coming.

Driving the news: Based on league statements, more sporting events than ever are temporarily scheduled for the fall, which could result in the most action-packed sports calendar imaginable.

  • Yes, but: As much as we'd love to believe a sports wonderland awaits us in the fall, experts warn that the second wave of this virus will likely hit right in the heart of that season.

The backdrop: We need only look back 100 years, to the influenza pandemic of 1918, for the exact playbook of how this could occur.

  • When infections decreased over the summer months, it seemed safe to host large gatherings like the World Series and various parades celebrating the end of World War I. But right around that time, the virus came back with a vengeance.

What they're saying: "Second waves are inevitable in pandemics when you don't have a vaccine," Carlos Del Rio, who chaired the panel that guided the NCAA to shutting down sports this spring, told the Wall Street Journal.

  • "Any disease when you have an epidemic, when you loosen up prevention, you'll have a second wave."

The state of play: This last point bears out the paradoxical nature surrounding our current predicament. Whether due to social distancing efforts or summer weather, infection rates will eventually go down. But this early in the pandemic's cycle, that reality might act as a false positive of sorts.

The bottom line: Ultimately, one of the hardest things to cope with right now is the uncertainty of when it will end, which makes plans to restart leagues nebulous at best.

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Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Updated Aug 9, 2020 - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 19,863,850 — Total deaths: 731,374 — Total recoveries — 12,117,346Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .