There are many arguable reasons for Europe to open up its tourist attractions and its borders amidst the unsettling phase of virus spread. The entire economy runs on people flocking to the beautiful sun lad beaches, the top of the order restaurants, to the streets full of medieval history and to the architectural marvels as well as to cherish the Mediterranean climate. Imagine a complete lockdown on all of these and a complete haul to the income of most of the population. It was thus necessary to reopen the economy for it to restructure and refurbish itself, a decision that has unfortunately backfired.
One of the worst to be affected is Germany. It recorded a whopping 2000 new cases on 22nd August after a big interval and the biggest daily jump since April. 40 percent of them have been cases that were contracted abroad, something similar to Italy where a quarter of the new cases have been from contacts made abroad. This a sharp and steep increase in the abroad contracted cases for Germany, from a mere 5 percent to the current 40 percent in 6 weeks time. Apart from the demographics, the source of the virus’ readmission has also been attributed to parties. Yes. Almost 5000 new cases were recorded in France on 23rd August primarily owing to the unregulated parties being held at different locations. Similar cases were reported in Germany as well. Another country to be affected again is Spain which was once the epitome of the pandemic and a COVID hotspot for Europe is seeing the virus surge again. Another set of cases that have been really worrisome for the Europeans are the recent reinfections in the Netherlands and Belgium. Patients who recovered months back have been hit with a different strain of the virus (first being Hong Kong to report the same), thus proving to be a cycle of oblivion and an unclear sight on when the pandemic is going to be really over; A complex policy issue for the public health officials where the onset of the second wave and that of reinfection looms simultaneously.
Numbers in thousands of cases
It is especially frustrating for the domestic businessmen who had opened their work and yet had to shut down or minimize their activity owing to the rising cases. They received a second blow within months. The students have also been massively affected and although the classes have gone online, they are missing out on the benefits of the physical presence to a school or university. The only fortunate thing to have occurred from the resurgence of the cases is the low number of deaths in comparison to the outbreak in Spring. This has to do with the kind of population affected. Young population of age less than 30 years have been the most. The virus is already known to have low mortality amongst the youth. This however may not be completely a positive picture. These young populations, if spread the virus amongst the elderly, can later lead to an increase in death rates, and further consequently leading to more lockdowns and far severe economic downfalls.
Through the political lens, COVID can have serious repercussions- Those who have favourable opinions of right-wing populist parties are more likely than those with unfavourable views to say division has grown since the coronavirus outbreak began. This is especially true in Germany, where thousands have gathered to protest coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, including some protestors affiliated with the far right. Feelings of national disunity are tied to feelings of distrust as well. In many of the countries, those who say that, in general, most people cannot be trusted are more likely to say their country is now more divided than those who say most people can be trusted. That feeling of alienating the immigrants and foreign students and people with different racial backgrounds from the ‘original residents’ might later lead to political and social chaos in the near future.
Confrontations with the situation and relevant solutions are already in place with lockdown extended excessively into public places and gatherings, in schools, foreign travel along with improved quarantine facilities and adequate monitoring. These countries also need to take some stern steps along the way to stop the spread of the infection with measures like keeping the elderly population and young population separate, use stricter rules like enforcing legal consequences who do not take the virus seriously either in words or in action (most visibly, wearing a mask).
Europe and its new coronavirus rules –
|France||Local gatherings banned in some regions. Masks to workplace and other busy outdoors|
|Spain||Travel ban from and off selective places|
|Germany||Compulsory airport testing|
|Italy||Nightclubs and dance venues closed|
|Belgium||Further easing delayed Increased police checks|
|Netherlands||Travel warnings issued including bans for few countries Volunteering testing at airports|
|Portugal||Nightclubs remain closed|
|Greece||Airport testing for passengers Strict rules against gatherings|
|Ireland||Non-essential foreign travel discouraged|