Covid: two years of the virus

The first reports of a mysterious virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan emerged two years ago. Now the whole world is in the grips of Covid. Can we hope for an end after the current wave? Or will we have to live with it for many years to come? Europe's press delivers different verdicts.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

We must learn to live with it

An end to Covid is not in sight, warns Corriere della Sera:

“Of course, we can hope that those who say this will be the last winter of the pandemic are right. But the truth is that we don't know. The variants are a complete unknown which poses a very real threat to our future. Above all, what is happening now teaches us that the rhetoric of a new beginning is wrong. The fact is that the virus is on the verge of becoming endemic. This means that we must remain vigilant and that some of our previous behaviours and habits need to be permanently changed. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. What is important is that we implement the changes as well as possible - and without too much complaining.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Much has been learned

El Periódico de Catalunya is optimistic despite everything:

“The pandemic has widened the gap between rich and poor countries and had a significant impact on economic performance. One of the challenges is to revive society with the help of EU funds from the Next Generation EU programme, and one of the lessons is to safeguard the welfare state by investing more in health and medical research. We are still in a delicate chapter of the pandemic and there is no end in sight, but we have already learned enough to deal with it. More science, more transparency, more unity without ideological rivalries and more awareness of being in a battle that can only be won by working together.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Focus on building up the health system instead

Sweden's health system has been criticised for years for being chronically overloaded. The pandemic has not changed that, Aftonbladet writes in anger:

“Just in passing, the prime minister said [on Monday] that the healthcare system, which is to be protected through restrictions, is currently under pressure from other diseases, such as seasonal flu. ... Shouldn't policy be about strengthening the capacity of the healthcare system in the short and longer term, rather than these eternal restrictive measures? ... Two years after the start of the pandemic, previously unimaginable restrictions on freedom have become the new normal to such an extent that they can be used to keep an undersized health system running. This is outrageous.”