Europeans are facing rising levels of pandemic fatigue as they are feeling less motivated for following restrictions after living with uncertainty, stress, and anxiety for months. This fatigue varies depending on the country but it is now estimated to have crossed 60% in some cases. Hans Kluge, the regional director of WHO for Europe, said that the huge sacrifices made by the people had added a big cost which is making people fatigued notwithstanding their location or occupation.
Hans Kluge said that after such hardships it is natural for the people to feel demotivated and apathetic and to experience this pandemic fatigue. He further added that this data which based on survey results studying European countries seems like fatigue is increasing.
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European Nations have registered more than 6 million coronavirus cases and close to 240,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic eight months ago, according to the data from WHO. After months of lockdown, the restrictions were gradually relaxed over the summer. However, Europe is now facing the second wave of the virus and instead of reinforcing lockdowns, the governments are emphasizing on recommending social distancing measures, good personal hygiene, and efforts to restrict social activity. However, due to the pandemic fatigue general public in Europe is refusing to adhere to the rules and is constantly arranging public protests against the restrictive measures.
The strategies to get people back on track and reduce the pandemic fatigue as proposed by Hans Kluge include understanding people by taking account of their opinion regularly and also acknowledging their hardships, involving communities in decisions and discussions as part of the solution, and allowing people to live their lives but limit the risk by using innovative ways to meet the needs of society. He also emphasizes virtual celebrations during religious events or floating cinemas that could be used to help people successfully adapt to the new normal.
Across Europe Britain remains the worst-hit country with more than 500,000 confirmed cases of the virus. Neighboring country Ireland, due to the recent surge in cases, is considering a nationwide lockdown. The national public health emergency team has recommended that the highest levels of coronavirus restrictions should be imposed again in the entire country as they were imposed during March.
Moreover, due to this second wave of the virus, Paris was forced to shutter its iconic cafes this week, which according to the police chief of Paris were braking measures because the pandemic is moving too fast. France reported around 17000 new coronavirus cases in a day on Saturday which is the highest number since the widespread testing began in the country. More than half of these new cases have been found in the extreme poverty region in Paris, particularly in migrants, said the French aid group Doctors without Borders (MSF) on Tuesday. The positivity rate in food distribution centers and emergency shelters stood at 55% compared with 12% across Paris currently.
Spain has also decided to impose partial lockdowns in the cities of Leon and Palencia after the people of Madrid and some nearby towns were not allowed to leave city limits for reasons other than medical or legal appointments, schools, or work. Regional authorities in Madrid criticized the restrictions, however, health care experts believe it’s for the best.