Corona winter: how warmly must we dress?
According to the calendar, autumn begins in a month's time. Based on current knowledge, experts fear a surge in the number of cases because cool, humid conditions such as those in slaughterhouses promote the spread of the coronavirus. Commentators urge Europe to prepare both mentally and with concrete measures.
Be mentally prepared
Journalist Pedro Ivo Carvalho stresses that we need to be prepared for the worst in Jornal de Notícias:
“The state has saved a considerable portion of the country, but the oxygen is running out. And winter is coming. And with it the seasonal flu and the increasingly certain threat of a second wave of the pandemic. ... The sense of normalisation that the lifting of the curfew has given us should not dampen our sense of compromise. The struggle continues every day and is reflected in small actions, gestures and precautionary measures. We must be prepared for what is coming, even if we don't know what to expect. Because I am not sure that if we are forced to bring everything to a halt again we will want to or be able to.”
The UK needs a minister for winter
The UK government needs a coordinator to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead, The Spectator urges:
“This winter the government could be dealing with flu, Covid, flooding - remember, the promised extra flood defences have not yet been built - mass unemployment and all the issues arising from the end of the Brexit transition period. So, what should Boris Johnson do? Well, one step he should take is to appoint a minister for winter. They would make sure departments are doing what is needed, prevent the turf wars that flared up back in March, and ensure that information flows around the system.”
Avoid rush hour crowds
Dagens Nyheter is relying on citizens and authorities alike to show a sense of responsibility:
“The mask should be the new fashion accessoire this autumn. In combination with the simple advice of maintaining a distance and washing our hands, we as individuals can do a lot to keep the infection at bay. ... What we have to do is start the day in stages. ... The Swedish Public Health Agency announced last week that it is up to each city and municipality to plan how best to avoid traffic jams. And this is a wise regulation. Here everyone must assume responsibility by being well prepared instead of being shocked by the reality of traffic jams and a rapidly spreading virus.”
Fear spreading to the hills
The pandemic will make traditional skiing holidays impossible, fears Die Presse:
“While the tourism industry is stumbling through the summer, many winter sports resorts still have no plan for what comes next. In this scenario the damage to their image caused by the incidents in Ischgl is the least of their problems. A classic ski holiday with people crowded around the lifts and packed into the cable cars is unthinkable. ... And even if the lifts do operate under the highest safety precautions: who will want to pay 60 euros for a day ticket if they can only get a place on the lifts once in a blue moon due to access restrictions? Who will expose themselves to the risk in winter, when it's cold and wet - in other words, ideal weather conditions for coronavirus, as the cases in the slaughterhouses have shown.”