The pandemic leaves less and less ways to fight the infection
The new strain of the coronavirus COVID-19 “Omicron” has stumped the world powers that have not yet managed to adapt to the relatively recent version of the “Delta” … In the midst of New Year's Eve preparations and Christmas bustle, scientists and politicians have to hastily adjust their actions, although so far none of the available tactics of behavior looks 100% reliable. We compared the American and Western European approaches to the fight against Omicron.
Back on December 1, in its report, the European Commission warned about the need to introduce new restrictions, primarily on the movement of citizens and goods.
“The high transmissibility of the Delta variant, the significant immunity gap and the weakening of non-drug interventions will bring us a tough winter,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, among others. – The appearance of the Omicron variant only aggravates the situation. There is an urgent need to vaccinate and increase our immunity in order to break the chains of transmission of the virus. Where necessary, effective public health measures, including social distancing and the wearing of masks, should be taken. We must act quickly and decisively to limit the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact and impact. ”
In most EU countries, local authorities, even without instructions from the “center”, independently call for more active vaccination against coronavirus, including with booster, that is, third doses. Of course, no one is being driven to vaccinations with sticks, but for anti-vaccination people there is still a “stick policy”.
So, in particular, the German government intends to prohibit unvaccinated citizens from visiting cultural institutions, events, shopping and entertainment centers (SEC) – in general, everything except pharmacies, grocery stores and medical facilities. It is curious that it will not be possible for an unvaccinated person to get into a grocery supermarket or shop located, for example, directly in the mall, even through a separate entrance. Of course, such plans disturb the population, in connection with which the Bundestag is considering the possibility of universal vaccination.
In this case, however, the question arises whether everyone is allowed to be vaccinated for health reasons: in Russia, for example, doctors are in no hurry to send vaccinate patients with chronic autoimmune diseases. The discussion of the decision on the possibility of universal vaccination in Germany will last until January of next year, after which, if approved, will enter into force.
To overcome the spread of “Omicron”, many believe, it would be effective to close the borders within the European Union. However, the French Foreign Ministry has already stated that this will not happen immediately and the countries will prefer to act situationally. The complete and one-time closure of all borders is dangerous with serious logistical costs: and this is not only food, but also medicines.
The Prime Minister of the UK that left the EU, Boris Johnson, in turn, believes that it is necessary to continue to act within the same framework as before, without looking at the new strain. It is not difficult to understand it: “lockdowns” on the continent and the possible severing of trade ties to the proud island Kingdom are unlikely to benefit now.
“Johnson speaks as a politician who has not yet shown himself from his best side,” said Briton David Blinkensopp from Sheffield in this regard in a conversation with MK. – Therefore, he tries to convince everyone that everything is okay, that you just need to move forward. I'm not sure if this is the right path, he should have looked at the EU, where they are doing at least something. My friends there complain that they are injecting something. But this is often not done in vain. “
Not at all easier than in Europe, the spread of Omicron is on the other side of the Atlantic.
By the end of the week, US President Joe Biden, whose ratings continue to plummet, reached out to Americans with his five-step plan to tackle the pandemic: Scaling up a booster campaign across the country, expanding networks of family clinics where vaccinations can be obtained, and making access easier. of the population to be tested at home, strengthening medical personnel, intensifying efforts to vaccinate the rest of the world, and strengthening travel regulations for people coming to the United States.
The problem, American observers note, is that while Europe is talking about toughening existing measures and the possibility of introducing new ones, the United States is only proposing an extension of the previous restrictions, which have already proved their ineffectiveness. Some experts doubt that Biden can do much to change the current trajectory of the pandemic.
“He faces a hostile public, hostile political opposition and a hostile judicial system,” recalls Lawrence Gostin, professor of public health at Georgetown University. in close contact with the White House. “And so he only has to do what is largely ineffective.”
The so-called “winter” strategy for countering the coronavirus was in the works even before the Omicron variant was discovered late last month, and the administration is cautious not to take more aggressive measures (which health experts say could quickly curb the pandemic) – for example , the introduction of vaccination requirements for households, compulsory quarantines for them in the event of even one sick person, etc. The reason for this indecision also lies in the political plane. Fearing further fomenting opposition by the GOP, Democrats are extremely timidly probing the soil.
The Biden administration also continues to fight Republican governors over mask and vaccination requirements that could help reduce cases in most affected cities. In states such as Florida and Texas, Republican leaders are upholding their right not to follow various preventive measures and, unfortunately for Biden, the American political tradition (and legislation) is on their side.
The situation can reverse the sad fact is that the number of victims of the coronavirus in the “covid-dissident” states is growing. However, earlier this did not motivate proud anti-vaccines and anti-masochists. White House officials and others close to tackling the pandemic agree on the weak potential of Biden's five-step system, although some believe fear of the unexplored Omicron will cause someone to take a root.