As the number of Covid-19 cases has decreased, a sense of normalcy has returned to vast parts of the United States.
For many, this period of relative calmness, which coincides with the holiday season, means just one thing: a chance to leave the United States and visit that favorite tourist spot somewhere in Europe where there aren’t as many people.
Unfortunately for travelers, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has appealed To the people to think twice before taking a leap of faith. Unfortunately, Europe appears to be at the start of a new Covid-19 rise. The CDC’s weekly list of places to “avoid travel” due to infection risk includes roughly half of Europe, with Belgium, Slovakia, and Russia added just this week.
It is important to note that “Europe” refers to the 53 countries on the World Health Organization’s map, not the European Union or a travel agency conceit. This vast area includes Russia and has approximately 750 million people, making it nearly twice the size of the US.
This raises two questions for potential holiday travelers: Is it this bad, or is the CDC overly cautious? Is it going to get any worse over there, and, gulp, over here?
In response to the first question, the CDC is not being overly cautious. No, not at all. The latest Euro surge is occurring in countries as disparate in culture and politics as Russia and Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. Cases have been increasing for at least 4 weeks and are most prevalent in people under 50, though older people also see an increase.
The latest surge’s causes are similar to the previous significant European wave in March: under-vaccination, lax enforcement of public health actions, and a general inability to recognize the risk as serious.
Due to the lack of a clear and singular cause for the increase in instances, many discussions have also been hand-wringing. Eastern also Central European countries, many of which were once part of the Iron Curtain, such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia, have some of the world’s lowest vaccination rates, which may explain the spike.
Decisions must be taken, and it appears that the only thing we’ve learned in almost two years of a pandemic is that if the experts aren’t sure what’s going on, the best something for everyone is to stay put.
Source: CNN News