Post-lockdown France has had the look of a country tired of a long pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has been trying for all countries, in Europe and beyond. Lengthy lockdowns, friends and family falling ill and dying, and the economic impact of the disease have all taken their toll.
Coming out of lockdown, France has been eager to move back towards something like normal life.
Sadly, the virus has no respect for the plans of exasperated citizens. Daily case numbers have been gradually climbing, topping 4,000 several days in a row recently. The same has been observed in Germany and Spain.
Thankfully, the death toll is staying relatively low overall in a post-lockdown Europe. Doctors are assuming this is because the virus is spreading, mainly, among young people.
However, there is a real fear that the virus could spill over to older Europeans and that death tolls like those seen in March and April could return.
Younger Europeans are getting the virus more because they’re going out more, to put it plainly. According to researchers, COVID is four times more likely to be found in people under forty than people over 65 in France right now.
New infections seem to be mostly occurring at festive gatherings where young people are not observing social distancing guidelines.
Young people, frustrated by months of strict guidelines, are eager to get back to concerts and festivals. They want to see their friends, to hug them and kiss them and hold their hands. These are normal activities for young people, but they are also dangerous during a time of pandemic.
While young people are not in huge danger of dying from the virus, they are capable of spreading it. Young people often don’t even know that they’re carrying COVID-19, as it can be asymptomatic in carriers. This means that people might be spreading COVID-19 to their older relatives without even realizing it.
This has even led to a generational clash, of sorts, throughout parts of Europe. Some groups of young people have flagrantly ignored the recommendations of experts, since they won’t suffer consequences from the virus.
Should community infections of the virus resume in large numbers among older Europeans, the situation could become disastrous. Young people eager to get back to a normal life would likely be subjected to another lockdown the virus has another huge outbreak.
This means that people having big gatherings without social distancing are actually harming everyone, not just themselves.