For the third week already, young residents of European countries adapt to life without strict quarantine, finally take to the streets after almost two months of self-isolation and return to work on projects. The World Health Organization claims that coronavirus seems to be with us for a long time, but so far most countries decide to gradually remove quarantine against the background of a steady decrease in cases of COVID-19 infection. And the option of returning to restrictions seems to be becoming relevant again for some. This topic seems to me important, because some are starting to get in touch with people on their projects, and many are worried about it. This is a very important point. The volunteer should be emotionally healthy, and in harmony with himself to help others.
Germany - a new wave of infections?
The first steps to weakening quarantine in Germany took another April 20. And on May 6, Chancellor Angela Merkel, after negotiations with the heads of 16 federal states, announced a substantial lifting of restrictions. Most stores opened up in the country, children were allowed to gradually return to school, and the German Bundesliga will be the first in Europe (if Belarus is not taken into account, where there was no significant quarantine), which will restore football matches - the first should take place on May 16th.
Germany has long been among the European leaders in the fight against a pandemic due to timely response to the threat, mass testing, strict quarantine and generally effective health care system. The country is in eighth place in terms of the number of infected in the world, now there are a little more than 174 thousand, however, mortality from coronavirus is much less than in neighboring France or Italy. For comparison: the number of patients with COVID-19 is almost the same, but France accounts for 27 thousand deaths, and Germany - “only” 7.8 thousand.
But a few days after the weakening of quarantine in Germany, the coronavirus reproduction index began to grow - this is one of three important characteristics that indicate the epidemiological situation in the country (along with the severity of the disease and the total number of infections). According to a report from the German Robert Koch Institute, the index now stands at 1.1. In general terms, this means that ten young people infected with coronavirus can infect eleven more and the virus will spread faster. One can speak of a real decline in infection only when the reproduction index does not exceed one. However, this is not a convincing argument - last weekend thousands of people came out to protest demanding to speed up the removal of quarantine in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne and several other German cities.
The largest rally in Stuttgart numbered about 5 thousand protesters. New promotions may happen this weekend, initiators announce.
What to do with it?
Parts of Germany are already returning to stringent restrictions. The main focus of the spread of coronavirus in Germany is now the Westfleisch meat processing plant in Coesfeld, which is located on the western federal state of Nordrein-Westphalia. Of the 1200 employees of the enterprise, there are many immigrants from Eastern Europe, the majority live in apartments of 3-5 people. So now at Westfleisch there are more than 200 infected people, the firm has been temporarily closed, and in Coesfeld County the strict quarantine has been extended until at least May 18. Coesfeld is the first German city to slow down the quarantine, but probably not the last. In addition, the decision of the German government to open the country's borders from May 16, is also open to question.
How do other countries weaken quarantine?
Tourism has already been taken care of in the Czech Republic, which was the first in Europe to open borders at the end of April. In the Baltic countries - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, where the situation with the coronavirus is controlled, internal borders open on May 15. In Italy and Spain, which still do not leave the top five in terms of the number of infected, the restrictions are also gradually being lifted. In all cities of Spain, except Madrid and Barcelona, which are still under strict quarantine due to the likelihood of a second wave, they allow them to leave their homes while maintaining a social distance. In restaurants, you can serve customers in the fresh air, and finally allowed to gather in groups of up to 10 people.