Another pandemic chapter... the last?
Increase in ICU admissions in Portugal
But this is a minor rebound
France holds its breath
Delta variant + summer relaxation
Young people getting infected
Problems in health centers
Dangerous for not (fully) vaccinated elders
WHO warning
A less dramatic scenario
UK improves its figures
An almost normal summer
A lot of work to go on vacation
The COVID passport
And yet the variants circulate
Vaccination is the solution
Parties boost contagions
Four million deaths from COVID-19
Countries where the pandemic remits
Independence Day
Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(1/21)
Another pandemic chapter... the last?

Most people feel as though the final chapter of the pandemic is coming to an end. There's mass vaccination, restrictions were slowly but surely lifted, and life seems to be getting back to normal. Yet, European countries such as France, Portugal or Spain fear a new wave of COVID-19. Will it be as serious as the previous ones?

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(2/21)
Increase in ICU admissions in Portugal

Portugal, for one, has had to close its capital Lisbon for a few weekends in order to stop the virus from spreading throughout the country. Numbers of infections have rebounded to reach 2,000 a day. Moreover, there's the worrying trend of increasing numbers of patients in the nation's ICUs.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(3/21)
But this is a minor rebound

In general, though, the data for Portugal are lower than those of previous waves. The new spikes appear to be milder.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(4/21)
France holds its breath

In France, normal life has recovered, with terraces, fashion events, and the Cannes film festival returning. Yet, authorities fear the arrival of a new wave that may have its peak after the summer.

Why do countries like Portugal and France fear new wave?

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(5/21)
Delta variant + summer relaxation

The mixture of a delta variant of COVID-19 that seems more contagious than other mutations of the coronavirus, in combination with the summertime relaxations of safety measures, forms a cocktail that can lead to a new pandemic wave in Europe. Experts predict it for September or even earlier.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(6/21)
Young people getting infected

In Spain, a massive outbreak had its epicentre on the island of Mallorca, where young people were celebrating the end of the school year. Many were forced to confine themselves to the hotel.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(7/21)
Problems in health centers

You may think that the contagion of young people does not cause problems since they usually get a light COVID-19 that resembles the flu. However, this outbreak puts pressure on the socialized healthcare system of Spain, where people go to public primary care centres to get tested.

 

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(8/21)
Dangerous for not (fully) vaccinated elders

On top of that, there are still older Spanish citizens who - for one reason or another - did not get fully vaccinated and run the risk of becoming seriously ill.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(9/21)
WHO warning

The World Health Organization has raised an alert, as the number of COVID-19 infections across Europe is rising for the first time in weeks. The organization is detecting a changing trend.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(10/21)
"The pandemic is not over"

We may be at the end of this pandemic but, according to the WHO, the battle against the virus is not over.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(11/21)
A less dramatic scenario

In any case, unless circumstances change catastrophically, we are faced with a new scenario - a different kind of COVID wave, so to say. In this scenario, the most serious cases will have been eliminated through vaccination and a coronavirus outbreak will not lead to high numbers of casualties or collapsed hospitals.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(12/21)
UK improves its figures

Another positive fact is that the numbers in the UK are improving. After a rebound in infections and hospitalizations due to the delta variant, the United Kingdom managed to turn the trend around. There are once again fewer infections and hospital admissions.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(13/21)
An almost normal summer

Normality has not quite arrived this summer. Tourism is recovering but not as much as the travel industry and many governments would like. There is still fear, and national authorities continue to mark in red or orange the areas where it is preferable not to travel within Europe.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(14/21)
A lot of work to go on vacation

To travel in most parts of Europe, quarantines, PCR tests, and vaccination certificates are required.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(15/21)
The COVID passport

There is now a Digital Certificate that can be downloaded to the iPhone and that works as a COVID Passport. The certificate is proof that the holder received a complete vaccination schedule. It makes travelling between countries a little bit easier.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(16/21)
And yet the variants circulate

What is curious, though, and telling about the impossibility of sealing our borders, is how successive variants continue to arrive. The delta variant is already circulating in Europe and has jumped to Latin America. Scientists believe it won't be the last mutation out there.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(17/21)
Vaccination is the solution

Vaccines are the only brake on a new wave. Moreover, only a completed schedule with two jabs, or one if you get a single-dose vaccine, is a shield against the delta variant. People with an incomplete dose of the vaccine can still get ill from this mutation.

 

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(18/21)
Parties boost contagions

Besides the vaccination campaigns, there is the difficult matter of young people trying to live their lives. How do we tell young people who have been suffering from confinement and limitations for more than a year that they still cannot go out to party this summer?

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(19/21)
Four million deaths from COVID-19

According to Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has caused (in a round number) four million deaths worldwide. More specifically, 3,966,524 people have died until July 2021.

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(20/21)
Countries where the pandemic remits

The pandemic is remitting in practically the whole world. Countries like the United States, Germany and Great Britain are celebrating the lower numbers of contagions. Serious hospitalizations become increasingly rare in these nations.

(Image: Maheshkumar Painam / Unsplash)

Europe fears a new COVID-19 wave
(21/21)
Independence Day

In fact, the United States celebrated its July 4th as if it was a day of independence from the coronavirus. It's what President Joe Biden promised when he entered office in January.

However, a perfect independence it is not. The pandemic, although in its final phase, is still continuing. The possibility of a new wave exists, and caution is still necessary.

Next: The real danger of the delta variant

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