Second wave of COVID-19 hits Europe

Just as Europe had gotten the coronavirus under control, it’s now back and worse than ever. Heading into Sunday, Oct. 4, Europe’s death rate has been steadily rising and breaking the records previously set by COVID in the spring.

First and foremost, the United Kingdom’s death toll is far worse than any other country on the continent. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday morning that the UK currently has 12,872 new coronavirus cases, doubling in the past seven days.

“This could be a tough winter for all of us. It’s going to be bumpy through to Christmas,” Johnson said in his statement on Sunday. “It may even be bumpy beyond,” he added. As of now, the UK has 480,017 recorded cases with 42,317 deaths.

While the UK is certainly getting the worst of the second wave early on, many other European countries are experiencing record-setting numbers. In France, the National Health Agency recorded their record for daily cases, with 16,972 cases just last Saturday. Health Minister Olivier Véran said that with increasing cases, Paris could see a similar lockdown to the one it had to undergo in the spring as soon as Monday.

Germany just saw the highest number of daily cases they’ve had since April 18 at 2,673 on Friday. Chancellor Angela Merkel said that if cases keep rising, Germany could have upwards of 19,000 cases per day by January.

Restrictions are being reintroduced to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a ban on households mixing indoors in several cities in northern England, including Liverpool and Manchester. These restrictions also include those on non-essential travel, attending amateur sporting events, and care home visits. 

Germany’s limitations are a little more lenient, however.  Similar to the US, private parties in hotspots are being limited to 25 people and public parties to 50.

“I am sure: life as we know it will return, but now we must be reasonable,” Chancellor Merkel said on Wednesday.