Battle with COVID: Are there any recipes other than lockdown?

Companies and enterprises are on the verge of ruin, people are at the limit of their strength. The restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus, which has been in place for many months, are making themselves felt more and more. Against the background of the declining number of new infections in many countries, calls are growing louder to at least partially lift the restrictive measures. The authorities, however, are in no hurry to introduce easing-and often make decisions behind the scenes. The press talks about how justified the discontent and outrage of the public.

Neoliberal governments have no imagination

Harav, a left-leaning newspaper, has made no secret of its criticism of the government’s current measures:

“There were no attempts to strengthen the health care system, nor any intention to increase spending on this area. But both could certainly reduce the likelihood of a new lockdown. … What if the vaccines prove useless against the latest strains of the virus? What if new problems arise in the pharmaceutical industry — an industry that, as we have seen, takes advantage of every opportunity to increase profits? The answer of the authorities is simple and literally repeats the one that was given last March, that is, almost a year ago: lockdown! This is the way neoliberal governments are choosing to fight the virus in 2021. Of course, it is necessary to take measures, but not the same as a year ago, when we were dealing with an “unprecedented and invisible” source of a new infection.»

Grumbling and criticizing is a simple matter

In view of the declining number of new infections in Denmark, there are increasing calls to cancel the lockdown. As the newspaper Der Nordschleswiger notes, the head of government faces a difficult dilemma:

“There are ten thousand reasons to bring society back to normal. But there is also one that does not speak in favor of such a decision. And this reason, namely the coronavirus itself, makes the Prime Minister’s task extremely difficult. The government has relied on prudence and foresight — coupled with the hope that the rates will continue to fall and the number of vaccinated people will increase. So for now, we’ll all have to wait. And we have time to reflect on what decision we would make ourselves if the responsibility lay with us. It is not difficult to use freedom of speech and criticize.»

Don’t be silent, experts!

Former MEP Micha Breitz, in her column on Portal Plus, calls on politicians and scientists to act more carefully:

“Politicians should seriously listen to the advice of experts-even if they find it inappropriate and annoying. And if the decisions made by politicians turn out to be illogical or even idiotic, then experts should definitely have their say! If they remain silent, then we should not be surprised if the policy measures do not work. When people see how politicians and experts are now acting, they lose all confidence in the authorities — and the measures taken have zero effect.»

Alarm: Winter break

This weekend, the winter holidays begin in Sweden, and many residents of the country are already looking forward to the opportunity to show up on skis. The Aftonbladet newspaper expresses its concerns about this:

“Ski tourism has played a crucial role in the spread of the virus in Europe. This year’s winter holidays are quite capable of provoking a third wave of the pandemic. People who have been living under restrictions for almost a year are in dire need of a vacation, and the tourism industry needs customers. However, if this means that the virus can continue to spread freely, then this for an irresponsible vacation is too high. … On Tuesday, the authorities announced that starting from the weekend, buses and trains should be only half-loaded. The question is whether this measure alone is enough to ensure that the holiday period does not turn into a new source of infection.»

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