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A new variety of coronavirus

In the United Kingdom, more than a thousand patients with covid have been diagnosed with a new variant of the coronavirus. Initial estimates suggest that the mutation, dubbed VUI2020 / 12/01, could be 70 percent more infectious. British authorities imposed a lockdown in southern England, a region that has been particularly affected. More and more countries are cutting off transport links with the UK. What is the situation fraught with for the country itself and for Europe as a whole?

The government steps on the same rake

It is not the virus that is to blame, but the actions of the authorities, says The Guardian:

“The prime minister should have taken action earlier. Perhaps he did not know for sure why the statistics for covid infections were going up, but many ministers had already been aware for a week that something was wrong. ... For the third time this year, the government refuses to face the facts — and takes the required measures too late. The slow response and the resulting blunders have not only cost the lives of thousands of people but also destroyed the public confidence needed to comply with the rules. ... The new strain of the virus cannot serve as the only excuse for the chaos in which we find ourselves, and it cannot be attributed to all the mistakes that led us to this dead end.”

Litmus paper in the fight against a pandemic

According to El Espanol, there is a deja vu effect:

“We do not want to stir up panic, but the fear of the third fatal wave is quite tangible since the holidays are very suitable conditions for the outbreak of complete chaos. ... If the worst-case scenario becomes a reality and a new virus strain from the UK leads to the collapse of intensive care units, then this will be proof that we did not draw any conclusions from this year's experience at all. Therefore, we are obliged to urgently analyze previous mistakes. Yes, again deja vu: we are faced with unknown danger.”

Brexit is not sugar

Now the British have a chance to experience the hard way Brexit will be, writes De Tijd:

“Due to the closure of European borders, the logistics supply network is clearly stuck. It is already overwhelmed by the upcoming Brexit. A real race reigns — while there is an opportunity, to buy as many goods as possible, which ultimately led to the fact that huge traffic jams arose on both sides of the English Channel. ... Basically, the coronavirus is driving a fairly tough Brexit that was not planned at all. The now begun absolute — albeit temporary — isolation of the UK makes it possible to fully experience what Brexit will look like without a trade agreement. And this isolation is not the kind of 'blissful' isolation that the Brexit advocates dreamed of.”

Fighting covid is the number one challenge

Against the background of the current situation, it is not worth trying to quickly patch up the gaping holes caused by Brexit, notes the Taz newspaper:

“The sudden termination of any communication between London and Brussels ... nullifies the continuation of the negotiations, which are vital in order to identify common ground — and find vectors for reaching a compromise. ... Thus, the first victim of the new coronavirus restrictions could be the Brexit agreement. However, the option of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement is no longer so daunting if the worst of its consequences already become a reality in the course of the fight against coronavirus. Both sides have a long-standing emergency package in case of a hard Brexit. Now Europe and the UK should make them a reality, and then focus fully and completely on the fight against the pandemic. Of course, the work must be joint, otherwise soon the economy, which needs to be saved from the consequences of trade restrictions, will remain a wet place.”

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