Coronavirus: Dominating Europe
Coronavirus: Dominating Europe
The Rise of the Pandemic Worldwide
The World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced at a press conference back in March 2020 and declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Ghebreyesus stated that over the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside of China skyrocketed thirteenfold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. There were already one hundred eighteen thousand cases in 114 countries, and 4291 have lost their lives. Thousands were fighting for their lives in hospitals.
They expected the number of cases, deaths, and affected countries to climb even higher in the days and weeks ahead. WHO assessed this outbreak around the clock. They were deeply concerned both by the alarming spread, severity, and the alarming levels of inaction.
They have assessed that COVID-19 can be distinguished as a pandemic. Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO's evaluation of the threat posed by the virus. What the WHO is doing is perpetual, and it does not change what countries should do. The WHO has never seen a pandemic triggered by a coronavirus. COVID-19 was the first pandemic caused by it. They also have never seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.
WHO has been in complete response since they were notified of the first cases, and they have called each day for countries to take urgent and advanced action.
As Dr. Ghebreyesus said on March 16, 2020, just looking at the number of cases and the number of countries impacted does not tell the whole story. More than 90% of detected cases are in just four countries. Two of those are the Republic of Korea and China, which have remarkably declined epidemics.
Eighty-one countries have not reported any cases, while 57 countries have reported 10 cases or fewer. He also affirmed that the course of this pandemic could be shifted if countries test, detect, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in response; those with a handful of cases can prevent the numbers from becoming clusters and those clusters becoming community transmission.
Bergamo: Where Covid-19 Started In Europe
Patients struggling to breathe through their ventilators, hardworking yet confused doctors, faces covered with masks, travel restrictions, community lockdowns, a view of multiple military vehicles carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims, and new cases and deaths reported daily.
Based on a documentary created by DW News, these scenarios were first seen in China a few weeks when the virus felt far away. However, it had suddenly hit Northern Italy and spread to the whole continent of Europe. In weeks, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and our lives have never been the same.
In a quiet Northern Italian city named Bergamo, the pandemic first gained its foothold in Europe. It was the pioneering place where the horrors of COVID-19 were felt outside of China.
Emergency stations were transfigured into intensive care units, and not every patient could be handled. Cemeteries were jammed, and military trucks had to carry coffins out of the city. The Pope John the 23rd Hospital was at the center of the outbreak.
As of March 2021, the number of coronavirus victims is a small fraction of a year ago. The director of the emergency station suspects that Bergamo's residents have developed a form of herd immunity to the virus.
Luca Lorini, an Intensive Care Unit Director, expressed that many people who had antibodies in their blood last March 2020 were tested again in December. They still had antibodies in their blood eight months later. Of those people, hardly anyone was infected again.
The city's health officials demanded extensive blood tests. These showed who had already been infected. More the 40 percent of those tested had antibodies against COVID-19, perhaps explaining why significantly fewer people were infected during the second wave in late 2020. However, another problem concerned officials.
Carlo Tersalvi, a Bergamo Local Health Authority, declared that Bergamo may have survived the worst, but it is far from over. They have to look carefully at the spreading mutations because they could completely change the virus and the situation there. The outbreak left survivors traumatized, and it wiped out nearly an entire generation of seniors.
Enrico Storti, Head of the Critical Care Department and ICU at Cremona Hospital in Italy, shared his experience during the first wave back in Spring. He said that he could recall the exact details about the time they knew they were facing COVID-19 because they were the first to diagnose the infection in Europe.
The infection curve and the epidemiologic perspective of the latest waves are very close to the first wave. He also affirmed that they might need to fight a little bit longer waiting for the vaccine strategy.
Spain & France: The Second Wave of the Pandemic
Back in October 2020, CNBC Television reported that Europe saw the second wave of coronavirus infections. Since last August and early September, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain have seen a sharp rise in cases. Italy and Germany saw numbers starting to pick up dramatically, and have around 449,000 and 398,000 confirmed infections, respectively.
Keir Simmons reported that many Europeans thought they had conquered coronavirus. Now, many European governments are being criticized for not preparing for things like tracking and tracing. It is difficult to exaggerate how crushing it is for people working in bars, restaurants, and transportation industries to face this during the second wave.
Ireland began a six-week national lockdown but is keeping schools open. Micheal Martin, the Irish Prime Minister, stated that they could not allow their children and the young generation's futures to be another casualty of this disease.
Paul Cadden, the owner of the Saba Restaurant Group, said that nobody wants a service rendering facility to be closed, but for the greater good, it is all to play for Christmas. He also affirmed that if everybody takes it seriously and does what we are told to do, he hoped they could get a run in December of last year.
The U.K., France, Spain, and the Netherlands have seen a sharp rise in cases from late August to early September. The U.K. has more than 792,000 cases of coronavirus confirmed across the country.
Boris Johnson, Britain's Prime Minister, imposed a lockdown on the city of Manchester. He stated that lack of action would put Manchester's NHS and the lives of many residents at risk. Andy Burnham, Manchester's Mayor, demanded more financial support. He said that this is no way to run a country in a national crisis.
Italy and Germany also see a dramatic uptick in cases. Germany reported more than 11,200 new cases on October 19, 2020, marking the first time it had more than 10,000 new cases recorded in a single day. Italy reported 15,199 new cases on October 20, 2020, which technically became its most enormous upswing since the second wave started.
Vaccination Across the European Union
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, announced that December 26, 2020, was the day of delivery of vaccines, and the 27th was the vaccination against COVID-19 began across the European Union. The vaccine is made available at the same time to all EU countries. People will start taking the vaccine in Athens, Rome, Ethiopia, and many more.
She shared that their European vaccination days are a touching moment of unity and a European success story. She soon announced that they would have more vaccines, ones that were proven to be safe and effective. The European Union has enough vaccines for 450 million people, but they also secured vaccines for neighbors like Iceland or Norway.
Vaccination will help us to get our everyday lives back gradually. Once enough people have been vaccinated, we can start traveling, meeting our family and friends again, and have regular holidays, which we all long for.
Nevertheless, until then, we have to continue being careful. We need to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus. She pleaded for us to stay safe together and make 2021 our year of recovery and hope.
Central Europe: The Third Wave of the Pandemic
During a Channel 4 News report, they stated that Covid rates in Central Europe are among the highest in the world as the third wave hits.
Now that more than 30 million people in the United Kingdom have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it was declared by the health secretary as a phenomenal achievement. The first supplies of the Moderna vaccines arrived in April 2021.
However, this data still does not hide the fact that around 20,000 people a week are still dying with COVID-19, and rates in Central Europe were among the highest in the entire world. The vaccination efforts have been woefully slow to get off the ground.
In France, they may be winning the race on two wheels, but they have lost the one involving jabs and arms. They have only vaccinated just over 11 percent of the population compared to the U.K.'s 43 percent.
President Emmanuel Macron is telling France that it can catch up with Britain in a few weeks. Speed is of the essence, incredibly, when ICU wards in Paris are filling up. France reported losing almost 900 people to the virus during the third week of March.
The situation in Hungary is even bleaker. The country went from one of the best in Class of 2020 to the worst per capita death rate on Earth.
In Germany, the government has gone from COVID-19 hero to zero. They were coming under pressure from the virus and arrested the public, facing a third extension to the latest strict lockdown.
It was left to Barcelona to show Europe how tantalizing the future, albeit a rather weird one can look, the Channel 4 News reported acclaimed.
A concert of 5,000 people tested on the way in. All attendees would be tested a few days after the music stopped ringing in their ears. All masked lab rats in a giant experiment were gathered to see if what we used to call "fun" was possible during COVID-19.
The Covid Vaccine Rollout Goes Wrong
Professor Anand Menon, the Director of the U.K. in a Changing Europe, was asked if Brexit is all to blame for tensions between the U.K. and the EU over the vaccine supplies. He answered that he does not think that the substance has anything to do with Brexit. He even stated that it is wrong to claim they reached where they are because the U.K. is leaving the European Union.
He shared that Brexit matters in the sense that their government was keen to crow about its successes and lay them in the context of Brexit. The issue got under the skin of Ursula von der Leyen, in particular. Menon added that this has made the commission act a bit crossly without thinking about the matter particularly well.
He thinks that the EU made some vaccine purchase mistakes, but the fact of the matter is having decided to do this collectively via the European Commission. The EC is in a vulnerable state if it looks like the rollout does not go well.
The Future of Europe After the Pandemic Ends
We might not be able to predict the future of when this pandemic will end. However, we need to follow the government's strict protocols, stay indoors, and prevent ourselves and our family members from meeting up with others. As much as possible, let us get vaccinated and persuade our loved ones to do so as well.
Global News “Coronavirus Outbreak: WHO Declares Covid-19 a Global Pandemic” March 2020
DW News “Bergamo, Where The Horrors of COVID-19 in Europe Started” March 2021
CNBC Television “Europe Hammered by Covid-19 Second Wave as Spain and France Both Hit 1 Million Cases” October 2020
Channel 4 News “COVID Rates in Central Europe are Among the Highest in the World as Third Wave Hits” March 2021
European Commission “COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery and Vaccination Across EU” December 2020
© 2021 Rhaly Cortez