Optimism is spreading in the U.S. as Covid-19 deaths fall and is said to reduce restrictions and open vaccines for younger adults. But across Europe, the fear is compounded by another wave of disease, which is closing schools and cafes and introducing new locks.
The spread of the pandemic on both continents can be partly linked to much faster vaccine spreads in the US and greater spread of infectious changes in Europe.
Health experts in the US, however, say what is happening in Europe should serve as a warning against the premature reversal of protections, as many of the same changes already spreading in the US at lower rates.
“Each of these countries has had bodirs as we do now, and each one took a move up after disregarding known mitigation strategies,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for US for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “They just took their eyes off the ball.”
The result has been a dramatic increase in new infections and hospitals in several European countries over the past few weeks.
Poland’s rate of new Covid-19 cases has doubled since February, putting pressure on their health care system and leading to a three-week nationwide closure announced Wednesday for malls, homes- play, galleries and sports centers.
Italy closed most of its classes earlier this week and expanded areas where restaurants and cafes can only accept or deliver. The country’s health experts say they are seeing more and more middle-aged and younger patients.
In France, officials have put weekend locks around the French Riviera in the south and the English Channel in the north, and are preparing new restrictions for the Paris area and possibly beyond. Covid-19 patients occupy 100% of the usual intensive care hospital beds in the area around the nation’s capital.
Serbia announced a nationwide closure for the rest of the week, closing all unnecessary shops and businesses. The nation of 7 million people reported more than 5,000 new cases Tuesday, the highest number in months.
In contrast, new diseases and hospitals are slowing down in the U.S., even as the country suffered the worst death toll in the world. More than 537,000 Americans have died since the outbreak began.
Deaths in the U.S. have fallen by an average of just under 1,300 per day, down from a high of about 3,400 in January. At the same time, around 55,000 people a day are infected with the new disease, well below the quarter of a million people infected each day in early January.
However, new diseases and hospitals appear to have reached a platform just below the peak of disease in the summer of 2020, a time when the coronavirus captured much of the solar system, from Florida to the south of California.
“Every time we reach a new and unprecedented rise in this disease, we quickly normalize it,” Kumi Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, told Vox.
In addition, Texas and Mississippi have eliminated mask orders and capacity limits in most public life situations, even as changes that have gripped Europe are known to spread there. At the same time, airlines have had the best weeks since the outbreak began and they say more people are booking flights for spring and summer.
“An unlimited distance, 24/7 vaccine, is what is going to protect us from what is happening in Europe,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.
Adalja said he believes it is too early for states to drop mask orders but that restaurants and other places can begin to gradually increase capacity. “You don’t have to do what Texas did,” Adalja said. “You can increase the capacity while holding the masks in place.”
EU vaccinations have lagged far behind Britain and the US due to vaccine shortages and other barriers. About one in five people in the US has received at least one dose of vaccine, and in most European countries, it is less than one in 10. Out of three authorized vaccines in the US, two require a two-dose regimen.
Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, said Europe is “fast taking a toll on speed requirements in many places, along with numbers letting the guard down. down as they look forward to the light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, which helped set the stage for the conventional waves ”.
Several European countries have also banned the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The US has not approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, although it is controversially maintaining a purchase agreement for 100m doses.
Joe Biden urges all states to raise vaccine eligibility requirements by May 1st. Removing the eligibility criteria would allow almost all adults and children over 16 to be vaccinated. Most of the vaccine doses purchased by the federal government are expected to be delivered in early July.
Even as things remain high, expanding vaccines and reducing disease rates have led to cautious optimism and renewed optimism in the US.
An empty hall and a series of unused front wings inside a closed Covid-19 intensive care unit at Mission hospital in Mission Viejo, California, tell the story of the enhanced scene. At the beginning of the year, the shield was filled with Covid-19 patients.
“It gives me goosebumps,” said Christina Anderson, ICU nurse. “It’s really just surreal because, you know, a month and a half ago, our unit was full of super, super sick Covid patients, many of whom didn’t survive.”