Covid is surging in Europe. What does it mean for the UK? | News

“I’m seeing the storm clouds gathering over components of the European continent,” Boris Johnson mentioned final week. “We’ve got been right here earlier than and we keep in mind what occurs when a wave begins rolling in.”

The prime minister’s warning was filled with foreboding for anyone who lived via final 12 months’s winter – when a doggedly optimistic authorities refused to countenance imposing coronavirus restrictions over Christmas, solely to be compelled to reverse its place at the final minute. The transfer confirmed the seriousness of an extended, grim second wave that proved even deadlier than the first – and essentially modified the manner many people considered coronavirus, dispelling all hopes that we might quickly be capable of flip the web page and return to life as it was earlier than.

A 12 months on, Johnson is proper: the scenario in Europe is troubling. In Germany, instances are at their highest stage since the begin of the pandemic. In the Netherlands, curfews and orders that sporting fixtures be performed in empty stadiums are again in place. In Croatia, the each day dying fee is greater than it was a 12 months in the past. Final week, Reuters reported that the continent accounted for greater than half of infections in the world, and about half of latest deaths.

For the UK, that is ample purpose for concern – however there are additionally causes to be extra optimistic. On this episode, the Guardian’s science editor, Ian Pattern, talks to Nosheen Iqbal about that difficult image. He explains why the scenario is likely to be totally different throughout the Channel, reflecting on components from the early prevalence of the Delta variant in the UK to vaccination charges. And he appears to be like forward to the potential affect of antiviral remedies, which have the potential to make a major dent in the injury attributable to Covid-19. Lastly, he solutions the query on each listener’s lips: will he be going to Christmas events?

A Santa Claus figure in a face mask.

{Photograph}: Mark Makela/Reuters

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