Europe Is Trying to Deal With Pandemic Fatigue
And it’s happening at a very bad time
Europe is experiencing a second Covid-19 wave.
Daily cases are significantly rising. Hospital admissions are up. In many countries, death rates are steadily climbing. Restrictions are reimposed. According to Stella Kyriakides, the European Union’s commissioner for health and food safety, “in some member states, the situation is now even worse than in the peak during March.”
The continent that suffered a devastating first wave was hoping to have some time to prepare for the second one, but as Patrick Bouet, head of the French National Council of the Order of Doctors, gloomily observed, “the second wave is arriving faster than we thought.”
Europe is experiencing a second Covid-19 wave. This wave may have caught the Europeans more knowledgeable and better prepared but also exhausted. Now, Europe is trying to deal with pandemic fatigue, and it’s a crucial battle.
Pandemic fatigue is described by the WHO as “demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviors, emerging gradually over time and affected by several emotions, experiences, and perceptions.” This means that as the period of the pandemic gets longer people will stop following restrictive and protective rules and stop keeping themselves informed.
In recent weeks large anti-lockdown demonstrations were held in some European cities. Thousands have gathered in London, breaking social-distancing rules, shouting, “We do not consent.” Eighteen thousand people marched in the streets of Berlin, many without masks or social distancing, claiming the coronavirus restrictions are a method of dictatorship. Outside the U.N. headquarters in Geneva, a large crowd assembled for a rally against the mandatory use of masks. There were many other similar events.
Regional leaders have turned against local measures as well. In Madrid, the regional leaders filed a legal challenge against the government and its plan to have the capital under lockdown. In the U.K., the mayor of Middlesbrough said he will not comply with new lockdown…