Health workers carry a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance at Scorff Hospital during a transfer operation of people suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lorient, France on November 4, 2020.
Stephane Mahe | Reuters
People are tired of France, where President Emanuel Macron imposed the country’s second nationwide lockdown from Friday to combat the resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, says Parisian videographer Joseph Savage.
“Last time there was a kind of united front – people were excited to do this together,” Savage, 34, told CNBC in an interview. “We know we have to do it all over again, but the general consensus is that people are fed up and a little bit sad about going through it again and not knowing when it will end.”
Retired 70-year-old dental assistant Kathleen Williams, who lives in Lancashire, England, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just put in place a new four-week home stay policy, agrees. The new blocking ordinance allows people to leave their homes only for essential purposes, e.g. B. for going to school, visiting the doctor and grocery stores. Williams says the cold weather makes it more insulating this time around.
“People get a little tired of all of this and seem to break the rules a little more,” she said in an interview. Williams and her husband, who is also retired, are fine, she said. “We just keep going. But people who don’t belong to a couple like us are likely to get tired of it.”
Commuters cross London Bridge with a view to Tower Bridge in London, UK on Monday November 2, 2020.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
While the United States is on the verge of the start of a dark winter, with around 90,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, there are already an “astronomical” number of new cases and deaths in Europe that are causing governments to play their tough role Lockdown measures to slow the spread. Like in the USA Pandemic fatigue has set in across Europe, where residents say pubs and bars in the UK and France were full before the lockdowns went into effect. It has caused a resurgence of the virus across Europe and America, where people are missing human contact and getting tired of working in isolation for months.
The worsening outbreak in Europe is starting to put a strain on hospital systems there, something epidemiologists will fear in the US in the coming weeks.
For the past seven days, France reported an average of more than 31,000 new cases per day on Tuesday, up from a record of 53,464 new cases on Sunday. This comes from a CNBC analysis of the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The UK has had an average of more than 22,347 new cases per day for the past week, Hopkins data shows. Italy reported a record 27,864 average new cases on Tuesday, a 58% increase from the previous week.
Germany reported a seven-day average of 17,048 new cases on Monday, a new record and, according to Hopkins data, a whopping 63% from the previous week. The steep rise caused Chancellor Angela Merkel to announce a new “partial lockdown” last week in order to avoid overloading the hospitals. Bars, theaters, and clubs are closed, and restaurants are limited to transportation and delivery services.
Chancellor Angela Merkel takes off her face mask when she holds a press conference on the current situation amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic after a meeting with her so-called corona cabinet on November 2, 2020 in Berlin.
Kay Nietfeld | AFP | Getty Images
As in the United States, there were demonstrations across Germany protesting the restrictions, said Dr. Bill Schaffner, epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, whose son lives in Berlin.
“There is fatigue and I actually characterize it as anger that this virus that you cannot see has invaded your life and angered us in every way economically, socially and culturally,” he said. “You’re angry with the virus. You want it to go away.”
Lara-Maria Kullack-Ublick, a 33-year-old account manager in Berlin, said that she only adhered to the rules and restrictions in public out of respect and consideration for other people.
“Personally, I’m not very afraid of Corona and therefore don’t follow the rules for myself,” she said. “In my private life, I am therefore not so strict and also meet more people than allowed and do not keep the desired safe distance from these people unless they want to.”
David Cain, a senior business consultant with the UK National Health Service, said people strictly followed the rules there when the outbreak started, but that has changed.
Cain said some people were reluctant to work with contact tracers because they didn’t want to be asked to stay home and potentially lose income. He added that not that many people are currently volunteering to deliver food and other relief supplies to those at risk.
“I don’t think people are sticking to the lockdown like they were in the beginning,” he said. “They don’t stay in. I think people are a little bit now: it took too long. That’s not our view, but people are tired of it; they’re not sure.”
The situation is similar in the United States, where cases have increased again over the past month. If Americans fail to follow the rules on masks and social distancing, US policy makers may need to consider more statewide and local lockdowns, as is the case in Europe. Dr. Syra Madad, senior director of the system-wide program for specific pathogens at New York City Health + Hospitals, said
“If the cases keep increasing, it means the virus is winning and then we have to go into these massive protective situations on the ground that you are seeing across Europe,” she said. “Whether you are in the US or Europe, you either decide what to do or the virus does it for you.”
Former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the US outbreak was about three weeks behind Europe, where cases are “astronomical”.
“If we get to the level of some European countries like France and Italy, Spain and the UK, it will really put a strain on our health systems across the country,” he told CNBC last week.
Dominique Costagliola, an epidemiologist at the Inserm Research Institute in Paris, said there were a number of parallels between the outbreak in France and the one in the US. She said the outbreaks in both countries are different from what was seen this spring in the virus is now rife in rural communities.
“Initially, the increase was mainly seen in the cities and suburbs, now it is everywhere,” Costagliola said in a telephone interview. “This week you can see that the situation is getting worse everywhere, even outside the cities.”
Both the US and France have sped up testing drastically compared to this spring, added Inserms Costagliola. However, she said the contact tracing infrastructure around testing has been largely forgotten in both the US and France, which has hampered responses in both countries.
“It’s bizarre that after what happened in March, most European countries fail to realize that the sooner you take action, the better,” she said. “When you have the little fire, it’s easier to maintain than if you just have fires at very high levels all over the country. We have to act now, act early.”
A woman walks past a placard depicting a nurse wearing a protective mask, thanking all professions that supported the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on a street in Rennes, western France on November 2, 2020 as France A new general lock is in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
Damien Meyer | AFP | Getty Images
France entered a lockdown last week that requires all residents to stay indoors except to source groceries and do other vital business, or to risk fines and prosecution.
Unlike the previous lockdown in March, the schools will remain open.
Paris bars were “full” last week with people who “had one last night before they closed again,” said Savage, the Paris videographer.
“That’s enough – it worked last time. I’m not sure if people will respect it as much as they did last time because people are tired, it’s autumn. The end of the year. People are a little bit disaffected, “he said. “The youngsters are less afraid than the first time.”
Liz Warren, a 30-year-old freelancer in Paris, said she was upset that the French government didn’t take action earlier. She said she followed the rules. She added, “If you don’t wear a mask outside, you will stare.”
“I’m just a little angry about this announcement, just because the French government acted way too late in the whole situation. When I think back to August and September, everything was extremely relaxed and no one really wore masks on the streets, in the they all piled up the terraces outside, “she said.
Hannah Weiler, a 25-year-old medical student in Cologne, said she followed the rules about 95% of the time. But she said she observed how others in public did not wear a mask and had no social distance.
“People really need to be more disciplined and show more solidarity,” she said. The new restrictions, she added, “only force people to meet again in private at home, which is much worse because you have no hygiene barriers there, no walls, it’s not regulated.”
CNBC’s Elliot Smith, Lucy Handley in London, Natasha Turak in Dubai, and Nate Rattner and Noah Higgins-Dunn in New York contributed to this article.