Headline, August 22 2020/ ''' EUROPE'S VACATIONING ECHOES '''



EDINBURGH - SCOTLAND - THIS SPRING, when Western Europe became an epicenter of the  coronavirus pandemic, countries imposed strict lockdowns.

In France, a person needed a permit to go shopping. Spain required children to stay indoors the entire day; in Scotland and Wales, people could go outside for a walk only once a day and had to stay within a five-mile radius.

Thanks to this, European countries were able not only flatten the Covid-19 curve but also to keep levels of infection very low.

But as the weeks went by, the pressure to reopen society grew. People wanted their prepandemic lives back. They wanted dynamic economies to protect their jobs; they wanted their children educated in schools; they wanted nights out at the pub and visits to their friends. And they really wanted summer vacations.

Tourism and Travel, it turns out, is one of Europe's particular problems. Tourism accounts for some $600 billion euros [more than a $700 billion] of the European Union's gross domestic product.

It provides nearly 12 million people with employment directly and another 15 million with indirect employment. And the summer is a veritable European institution, made only more central to many people's lives by the advent of low-cost air travel.

So this summer, with the virus tamped down to what many many governments considered ''acceptable'' levels - the U.K. Joint Biosecurity Center, for example, has suggested that an acceptable incidence for Britain is 1,000 symptomatic new cases per day - countries started to reopen and people began to travel.

Britons and Germans wanted to escape to the beaches, Spaniards and Greeks wanted to see their tourism economies kept alive.

But, predictably, cases are starting to increase. Spain now has about 3,500 new coronavirus cases per day, up from fewer than 200 700 at the end of May. Germany has 1,445 new infections one day this week., the highest number of daily infections in more than three months. This should be a cause for serious concern.

The rise in infections in Europe seems particularly linked to the activities like barhopping, clubbing and partying among younger people, as well as the rush to welcome international visitors and reopen tourism and its related activities.

A ''super spreading event'' at a club in the Spanish city of Cordoba resulted in 91 people testing positive.

''We faced a lot of pressure from the tourist industry because it's one of the main economic sectors of  Spain,'' Dr. Jacobo Mendiooroz, the director of the committee responding to Covid-19 in Catalonia, told Time.

[Tourism accounts for around 15 percent of Spain's G.D.P.] Greece is looking to tighten lockdown again after a spike in cases following the return of foreign visitors. In the week after the country opened its borders in early July, more than 100 tourists tested positive for Covid-19.

As tourists move around the various countries in the European Union [and the recently departed Britain] that are in varying stages of easing lockdown, cross-infection across borders continues to occur, making it a whack-a-mole game that is impossible to win.   

The internal issues within the United Kingdom provide a glimpse of how the rest of Europe works.

Because of Europe's economic and social integration, and freedom of movement laws within the European Union. a strategy to stop community transmission of Covid-19 requires cooperation among  European leaders who each commit to national measures to drive infections low in a concerted and coordinated way, to regularly share information about progress and to ensure strict checks on international travel.

Working to stop community transmission might seem like a dream, but after having bent the curve so significantly - and taken the hardest step of lockdown measures - why not crunch the curve fully?

Stopping community transmissions is the only path to stop the constant resurgence of the coronavirus, to reopen schools fully and safely and to avoid repeated national lockdown-and-release  cycles over the next 18 months.

This should be a lot more important than this summer's vacation.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Europe, Vacations and Tourism, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Professor Devi Sridhar, - Chair global public  health, University of Edinburgh.

With respectful dedication to the People of Europe, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Summer - Samples '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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