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Europe and Coronavirus: the fear of lockdown comes back

What not a day is new record numbers; politicians and scientists are showing concern and appealing to citizens. The number of coronavirus infections is increasing rapidly again in almost all European countries. Governments are trying to halt this momentum by tightening the rules. In many regions, the lockdown has been reintroduced. Observers are debating whether there are really no alternatives to tough measures, and how the current situation differs from that of the spring.

The state should help, not threaten!

Over the past few days, the British authorities have tightened measures against the coronavirus; among other things, draconian fines for violating quarantine were imposed this weekend. The Guardian writes:

“The state is using its power increased to sow mistrust and punish citizens while failing in its primary task of providing adequate assistance and protection, which would be a much more appropriate response to the pandemic. The police have been given endless new powers, and it took the government more than six months to offer more or less adequate financial assistance to the poor who are forced to sit in isolation. Give people practical help and clear benchmarks, and they will do what is required of them. Offer them often incomprehensible rules, the violation of which is punishable by a fine, and someone will inform, and many will be disgusted by these measures.”

More tests — less Darwinism

The Netherlands has also introduced increased restrictions due to a new outbreak of coronavirus. The government has no one to blame but itself for the fact that citizens are not eager to fulfill them,” writes NRC Handelsblad:

“The call for a 'strong sense of universal necessity' will only resonate with 17 million Dutch citizens if the government itself demonstrates this sense of necessity — for example, by mobilizing enough people and resources to quickly test citizens for coronavirus... No one wants to go back to the 'smart' lockdown, and the economy will not survive it. .... The government argues that we must all join forces. But so far we have seen a 'new normalcy' in which the weak stay at home and the strong live just as they did before the lockdown.”

Austria: until the thunder comes down.

This spring, Austria quickly came to its senses thanks to the lockdown and the law-abiding citizens,” the Die Presse newspaper writes, but notes:

“It was — or better said, it is — our problem. Apparently, Austria is functioning much better in an emergency situation than in normal life. When the mandatory wearing of masks was abolished and we sang songs of praise to ourselves, calling ourselves “European honors”, many returned to normal life. As before, we went on vacation ... and teased at those who called for caution. And now thousands of people can't reach the Health Department's 1450 hotline, which has been hopelessly overloaded since at least the beginning of the school year. .... The coronation crisis demonstrated to us the strengths and weaknesses of our society as a result of the accelerated filming. The boundaries between sensitivity and spitefulness, between solidarity and selfishness, between arrogance and competence, are too close to each other in this country.”

Pandemics are the pan-European answer!

According to La Vanguardia, the EU's mandate in health care should be expanded:

“In all EU countries, this month's statistics are a matter of concern: between 40 and 50 thousand infections every day... The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends mass testing in order to stop the pandemic. But this is just a recommendation. Because Brussels does not have the authority to do so, there is no pan-European approach to fighting the virus, nor is there coordination... The EU intends to strengthen its already existing agencies for epidemic disease control and drug quality control. In addition, a new body is planned to be created to strengthen the rapid response capacity. . All these are steps in the right direction, even if — due to the speed of virus spread — they are not very fast. .... The EU leadership is confident that the second wave will not pass. It is now just a matter of avoiding the mistakes made in March.”

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