From full-scale conflict to Cold War control, epidemics are on the rise as France and other parts of Europe have opted to coexist, with summers declining to dangerous autumn and The second wave is possible Hunting the continent.
Europeans who have given up hope of eradicating the virus or developing a vaccine within weeks have often returned to work and school, living as normally as possible in the midst of an already chronic infection Nearly 215,000 people were killed in Europe.
This approach strongly contradicts the United States, where restrictions on protection against the virus are politically divisive, and many regions have advanced in reopening schools, stores and restaurants without basic protocols. The result has been Almost as many deaths as happened in Europe, Despite a very small population.
Europeans use hard-won lessons from the early stages of the epidemic: the need to wear masks and adhere to social distance, the importance of testing and tracking, and the important benefits of being active and working locally. All of these measures, whether tightened or loosened as needed, are aimed at preventing national locks that have paralyzed the continent and crippled economies earlier this year.
“The virus cannot be prevented,” said Emmanuel Andre, a leading virologist in Belgium and a former spokesman for the government’s Govt-19 task force. “It’s about maintaining balance. We only have a few tools to do that.”
He added, “People are tired. They no longer want to go to war. ”
Defensive language has led to more measured guarantees.
“We live with the virus,” said Roberto Speranza, Italy’s health minister. The first country in Europe to impose a national lockout. In an interview with the La Stampa newspaper, Mr. Speranza said that although “there is no zero infection rate”, Italy was now the best place to deal with the rise of epidemics.
“There’s not going to be another lock,” Mr said. Speranza said.
Still, there are risks.
New infections have increased in recent weeks, Especially in France And In Spain. France registered more than 10,000 cases in a single day last week. The overall number of trials carried out – now one million per week – has gradually increased, and now it is more than 10 times what it was in the spring.
The death toll from about 30 people a day is just a small part of its peak in France when hundreds and sometimes more than 1,000 people die every day. William Top, an epidemiologist and former French national director of health, said that now that the victims were young, health officials had learned how to treat Covit-19 better.
“As the virus spreads more freely, we control the chain of infections worse. Inevitably those at high risk – the elderly, the obese, the diabetics – will be affected,” he said. Top said.
Even in Germany, the incidence of epidemics is high among young people.
When there are German health officials Tests more than a million people a week, Has initiated a discussion about the relevance of infection rates in providing a snapshot of infections.
As of early September, only 5 percent of confirmed cases had to go to the hospital for treatment, according to data from the country’s health authority. During the outbreak of the epidemic in April, 22 percent of the victims ended up in hospital care.
Hendrik Streik, head of virology at a research hospital in the German city of Bonn, warned that the infection should not be determined by mere infection numbers, but rather deaths and hospital admissions.
“We have reached a point where the number of epidemics alone no longer makes sense,” he said. Streak said.
There was much of Europe Not ready for the arrival of the corona virus, Absence of masks, test kits and other basic equipment. Even countries that emerged better than others, such as Germany, recorded a much higher death toll than Asian countries, which were very close to the evidence of an explosion in Wuhan, China, but it acted quickly.
National locks helped bring the epidemic under control across Europe. But infection rates Summer began to rise again After the opening of nations, people, especially the youth, began to socialize again, without following socio-distance guidelines.
As infections continue to increase, Europeans are returning to work and school this month, creating a greater chance of the virus spreading.
“We have better control of the infection chain compared to March or April, when we were completely powerless,” said the former French national director of health. Top said. “Now the challenge for the government is to find a balance between reviving the economy and protecting the health of the people.”
“It’s not an easy balance,” he said. Top added. “They want to reassure people so they can go back to work, but at the same time, we need to make them anxious so they respect preventive measures.”
Among those measures, masks are now widely available throughout Europe, and governments acknowledge the need for them to be worn. Earlier this year, the French government, which faced a shortage, encouraged people to wear masks, saying they did not protect those who wore them and would be harmful.
The face has become masked A part of the life of Europeans, Most of them consider skeptical and incomprehensible masked tourists from Asia last March, where the practice has been widespread for the past two decades.
Instead of using national locks regardless of regional differences, the authorities – too A highly centralized country like France – Begin to respond quickly to local hotspots with specific actions.
For example, on Monday, Bordeaux officials announced that they would limit private meetings to 10 people, restrict access to retirement homes and ban liquor stores in the face of rising epidemics.
In Germany, as the new school year begins with compulsory physical classes across the country, officials have warned that traditional events such as festivals or Christmas markets should be reduced or canceled. Football games at the Bundesliga will continue to be played without fans until the end of October.
In the UK, the mask is worn Not particularly widely or strictly implemented, Authorities tighten rules on family gatherings in Birmingham, where infections are on the rise. In Belgium, people are banned from limiting their social activities to a bubble of six.
In Italy, the government has sealed villages, hospitals or even immigrant shelters to house growing clusters. Antonio Miglita, an epidemiologist who conducted a contact tracking in an isolated building in Rome in June, helped fight off the virus for months before authorities went out of control, as they did in northern Italy this year.
“We got it well,” he said.
Governments still need to be better at other things.
At the height of the epidemic, France, like many European countries, had far fewer test kits, many of which could never be tested.
Today, France conducts over a million trials a week, creating delays in obtaining a wide range of test appointments and results – up to a week in Paris. People can now test regardless of their symptoms or their contact history, and authorities have not established priority tests to expedite decisions for people at high risk to themselves and others.
“We may have a more effective testing policy to combat the virus than what we are doing now,” said Lionel Brandt, president of the Young Medical Biologists’ Association.
Experts said French health officials should also greatly improve contact-detection efforts that have proven important in the spread of the virus in Asian countries.
Following the end of its two-month lockout in May, France’s Social Security system set up a manual contact-tracking system to track victims and their contacts. But this system, which relies heavily on the skills and experience of human contact tracers, has produced mixed results.
At the start of the campaign, each victim gave the contact tracer an average of 2.4 other names, mostly family members. The campaign progressed steadily as the number of names rose to more than five in July Recent report by French health officials.
But since then the average number has gradually dropped to three contacts per person, while the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has increased tenfold, rising from a seven-day average to about 800 new cases a day — Jolie now averaging 8,000 a day Statistics compiled by The New York Times.
At the height of the epidemic, most people in France were highly critical of the government’s handling of the epidemic. But still Polls show The majority now believes that the government will handle the potential second wave more than the first wave.
Jerome Carrier, a police officer who arrived in Paris from his home in the Mets in the north of France, said it was a good sign that most people were now wearing masks.
“Initially, like all French people, we were shocked and worried,” said the 55-year-old Mr. The carrier said two old family friends died due to Govt-19. “Then, we adjusted and returned to our normal lives.”
Constant Mehut and Antonella Francini of Paris, Matt Apuso of Brussels, Kia Pianigiani and Emma Bubola of Rome and Christopher F. Berlin of Berlin.