As I write this entry, Germany is about to experience a steep climb in the number of confirmed cases of CoVid-19 in the country. After having spent weeks with anywhere between 2000 and 2600 cases a day, today’s report of 4058 new cases makes it the first time the country has ever experienced cases that were over 3000 since April. And already, we’re repeating the same mistakes when it comes to containing the spread of the virus.
As you can see in the pictures, overcrowded beaches were a symbol of the government’s plan to declare certain travel destinations a high-risk area, meaning those who return from those regions must either quarantine themselves or prove that they tested negative for the virus. End result: travel within Germany and with it, hours stuck on the motorways because of traffic jams, overcrowded campgrounds and overcrowded beaches, like this one at Holnis, northeast of Flensburg. The photos were taken in August of this year during our stay at the beach.
At that point the number of new cases were hovering between 500 & 800 a day. With colder weather around the corner come the increase in the number of cases. With the high numbers come more travel restrictions, leading to fall break becoming the same as what we saw this past summer…
And with the announcement of restricting the number of hotel guests from other states and regions where there are Corona hotspots will create more restrictions in traveling and more chaos. More chaos means more irresponsibility. More irresponsibility, well…..
We are about to experience the second wave, historically known as the worst of the waves, when looking at the Spanish Flu of a century ago. The flu came in waves and it took six years until life returned to normal, thanks to the flu vaccine and the improvements in public health.
With the Covid-19 virus, it’s a totally different story because society has been trying to return to a normal that had existed before the outbreak. Vaccines are being rushed. Businesses fear being wiped out but are concerned that they could be liable for the virus. Families fear for their income but they don’t want to be infected. Children should learn in schools but they want to be careful. As long as the vaccine is not available, we will still live in fear that we could all be infected with some of us perishing in the process. We’re seeing this in the USA, India and Brazil, and we’re starting to see the second wave affect Europe as well.
While we can rush with the vaccine, we need to be realistic and expect one to come within 1-2 years. While we don’t want to wear masks, if we have to, we must wear the masks and not only save ourselves but also the lives of others. While we want to return to normal, the sad truth is we will never see that normal and it’s time to accept it.
So instead of restricting traveling, we should enforce another lockdown- a stricter one. It will save many more lives than when we try surgical measures like what we’re seeing right now. Governments should consolidate and regulate all businesses and help them through no matter how long the lockdown will last. And this lockdown should be a longer one- until the vaccine is made available. Schools and work should be from home. Events should be postponed or cancelled until it’s absolutely safe to have them- and in reasonable numbers. And no travel unless absolutely necessary. It may hinder the education system, but it will encourage children to learn practical skills from home and encourage teachers to engage in digital teaching. It may affect businesses and the economies, but it will force companies to redo the way businesses is being done and encorage home office but less global travel. It will affect the tourism industry, but it will force us to reinvent ourselves and become more environmentally conservative. Why travel to an exotic land when we can travel locally?
We haven’t learned our lessons from our first lockdown. With the second one on the way, maybe this one will be the wake-up call we need to finally make the changes necessary.