Is Europe Experiencing the Second Wave of COVID-19?

By Kirstyn Hill

October 13, 2020

   For the last six months, people all over the world have been trying to normalize living in a pandemic. It’s been a huge change with no end date, and since the beginning of the virus outbreak, it has been a main focus to attempt to eradicate or control COVID-19, and return to life pre-pandemic.

   Although handled questionably, for a period of time the cases of COVID-19 dropped significantly. People all over the world were staying home and abiding by the World Health Organization recommendations and government-enforced lockdown. But since then as countries gradually began to lift restrictions, there was a huge resurgence in cases.

  Many countries in Europe largely depend on tourism as their main source of revenue to bring money into their economy, making up an estimated 10% of the European economies’ GDP. Countries in Europe began to attempt to reopen to cope with their months of lockdown. But soon after reopening, cases began to skyrocket all over Europe, especially in highly visited areas. On June 2 WHO, the World Health Organization, reported Europe brought their active case number down to roughly 16,000, whereas on October 3rd there were a reported 82,000 active cases in Europe. 

   This round of infection is thought to be the second wave of COVID-19, its overall killing less people, but this is thought to be because it is primarily infecting young people. The beginning of the outbreak seemed to primarily kill older and people experiencing preconceived conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and lung conditions. Whereas now it is spreading through younger people, due to schools reopening and travel bans lifting.

    According to the World Health Organization’s Europe director, Hans Kluge, “We are seeing rates of cases in older populations and vulnerable populations increasing again across all European countries,” he said. “So it’s a very predictable pattern actually, that across the UK and France or Spain we’ve seen younger populations being affected, and then about four to six weeks later … we’re starting to see elderly people being infected.”

   But countries such as Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, and Croatia are seeing a huge peak in cases due to tourism. After months of lockdown people everywhere are fed up, so they are traveling to these countries to go on an affordable while still exotic vacation. 

   While visiting these European countries, they act as a vessel of transportation for COVID-19. They could be staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, or going to clubs and bars, all while potentially infected. Tourists are thought to be one of the leading causes in this second wave of cases in Europe. 

   At this point in time, there is no clear solution or cure to COVID-19, and people all over the world are beginning to entirely disregard health recommendations from leading world health officials. If that trend continues, the cases will continue to steadily increase, not only just in Europe but worldwide. 

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