Europe’s Long, Strict Lockdowns Are Necessary to Fight Virus Mutations, Experts Say


Health experts in the EU have been clear that strict, lengthy lockdown measures are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Europe has struggled with the vaccine rollout. Meanwhile, the virus has infected more people and continues to mutate.

The mutations, experts warn, could become resistant to the current vaccines. That would be bad news, as it could lead to a longer pandemic and even more loss of life. While the case numbers are expected to fall as the weather turns warmer, experts caution people to be cautious as they slowly return to normal. Social distancing measures, including wearing masks and staying two meters apart from others, will continue to be vital steps to slowi the spread of the virus.

The vaccines may eventually allow Europe to return to normal. However, for the best way to help stop the pandemic now is through behavior. That is frustrating news for many European residents.

Lockdowns Frustrate Many

After a year of lockdowns throughout most of Europe, many people are growing frustrated. While the benefits of stopping the virus from spreading are clear, there is a tangible cost as well.

Missing out on seeing family, being unable to travel, children needing to stay home from school, businesses struggling–these are all taking a toll. Of course, the loss of life from the pandemic is the main cost of the virus. However, for many people, it can be difficult to see how simple actions like going to a movie or seeing family can lead to the kinds of case numbers they see on the news.

Virus Confounds Experts, But Lockdowns Work

COVID-19 spreads rapidly through communities. It quickly jumped from Asia to Europe to the United States, digging into those populations and causing community spread of the illness. That’s why experts in Europe and abroad agree that lengthy, strict lockdowns are currently the best way to contain the virus.

In the United States, where lockdowns have never been as strict or as widespread as in EU nations, the rate of infections has stayed high. More infections leads to a higher viral reproduction rate. The virus is more likely to mutate when the reproduction rate is high.

While evidence suggests the current variants are not resistant to our current vaccines, future mutations might not be so easy to contain. For now, it seems Europe will continue embracing lengthy lockdowns as the vaccine rollout continues.