ROME – Hours after the regional governor of the Italian region of Campania, where Naples is located, announced that he would lock down the entire province to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Neapolitans took to the streets on Friday evening to challenge order. The situation quickly turned into what one police official compared to an urban war with protesters lighting dumpsters and dodging tear gas fired by police. All the while, the largely maskless, screaming crowd has undoubtedly spread the coronavirus even further.
Europe is totally out of control when it comes to its second wave, with each nation in the 27-member area battling in a race against time as hospitals fill up and the death toll – which is significantly lower than the first wave so far – continue to increase. Millions of people face tough new restrictions as governments play what is like hitting a mole to try to stop the spread of the virus they thought they’d conquer just months ago. Improved testing in many countries has painted a clearer picture of the extent of the pandemic, but due to the number of new infections, contact detection systems have been overwhelmed, making the spread beyond control.
France has widened its draconian curfew that has stifled Parisian nightlife and put a massive dent in the economy of the hotel sector in one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Today, 46 million French people will have to return home before 9 p.m. In Wales, a two-week ‘firewall’ began on Friday, meaning everyone except essential workers must be home by 6pm. The Czech Republic has just achieved the dubious honor of having the most cases per capita in Europe with 1,148 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed closely by Belgium and the Netherlands. Ireland is under a six-week lockdown and Slovakia has pledged to test every citizen to try and mitigate the spread. The Polish president has just tested positive and Germany has recorded a whopping 10,003 COVID-related deaths in 24 hours as the infection rate continues to rise. Filming Mission Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise has been suspended in Venice as cases reach record levels. And the Italian government is facing calls from 100 top scientists to impose tough new measures in the next two or three days, otherwise the outcome could be catastrophic.
And it’s still only October.
Europe’s problems are dire and citizens are angry that their governments have not been able to come up with a better plan than the lockdown, exposing the already weak economies that were hit so hard in the first wave pandemic at an even greater risk of collapse. . Ludovic Subran, the chief economist of Allianz warned last week of a severe high-risk recession in Europe as new restrictions are put in place. “We see a high risk of a double-dip recession in countries that again resort to targeted and regional lockdowns,” he said, adding that the European Union’s first bailout of $ 880 billion will not be used. probably not for growth but will be used by many countries. like Italy, Spain and Greece to stay afloat.
On Saturday, the Save Our Rights UK group holds a massive protest in London to protest not only against restrictions imposed by the UK government, but the overall handling of the pandemic, indicating contact tracing and other ways to track the spread of the coronavirus. as an affront to privacy. “We believe the regulations in place on coronaviruses are not proportionate and appropriate, and do more harm than good,” said Louise Creffield, founder of the group. the Guardian. “We are very concerned about protecting the human rights of individuals: the right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, etc. We’re not just concerned with lockouts per se, we’re concerned with breaches of our privacy by having this tracked everywhere. “
Similar feelings are now common across Europe, where fatigue from a pandemic is now evident. And in the absence of a workable containment plan anywhere, people are angry, desperate, and increasingly ambivalent about what is really at stake: thousands of lives.
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