NSHE SIGHT Of the 40,000 unvaccinated Austrians marching in the capital, Vienna, they have had problems twice recently. Dense opponents of the blockade were at risk of spreading the coronavirus. They also threatened to stir up the already tense political situation. Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer warned that anti-Baxers in the Alpine Republic are becoming more radical. He called the mood of the demonstration “rage” and “aggressive.” Some protesters were very provocative and had a placard that compared Austria’s new Prime Minister Alexander Schallenberg to Josef Mengele, a sadistic doctor at Auschwitz’s Nazi concentration camp.
Protesters were marching against the increasingly stringent measures against Austrian anti-Baxers. On November 22, the government re-imposed a complete blockade that lasted at least 10 days. As a result, Austria’s 9 million people go home and go out to work, shop for essentials, and exercise. Austria is also the first Western democracy to require everyone to be vaccinated with covid-19 since February 1, 2022. “Voluntarily,” said Schallenberg when he announced a “very difficult” decision.
Again, Europe is at the heart of the pandemic. Incidents are skyrocketing as highly contagious variants of the Delta slowly pass through the European population. The World Health Organization said on November 23 that covid-19 deaths across the continent could exceed 2 million by March. ((((economistHis tracker suggests that this number was exceeded long ago. ) The number of deaths reported last week increased from 2,100 at the end of September to nearly 4,200 per day. The disease is the leading cause of death in Europe.
Will more countries respond with the rigorous measures found in Austria? Anxiety grows when hospitals in Central Europe fill up. Approximately 66% of the European Union’s total population is fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates vary widely from country to country. Further west, they are significantly higher. Of the people over the age of 12 in Portugal, over 88% are fully vaccinated. In contrast, Bulgaria has a share of less than 25%. Within Germany, there are also large fluctuations from east to west.
Other governments impose compulsory co-vaccination of certain groups. Italy has mandated all workers in public and private companies unless they can prove to be immune or negative within the last 48 hours. Similarly, France mandated vaccinations not only for health staff, but also for police and firefighters. This week, Germany mandated the military to vaccinate.
Support for the formerly taboo national vaccine obligation is now increasing in Germany. Prominent politicians repeatedly promised that such missions would not be considered. However, some state prime ministers, such as Daniel Günther in Schleswig-Holstein, Markus Söder in Bavaria, and Volcabofie in Hessen, are now supporting such measures nationwide. Many Germans agree. According to a survey of 7,500 respondents conducted by pollster Civey over the past few days, 72% agree with the mandatory Austrian vaccine and only 20% disagree.
As such obligations become more prone in many places, the polarization between rival camps is increasing. Antivacsers are primarily made up of populists and supporters of far-right parties, but also include alternative medicine, hippie, and libertarian acolytes. Over the weekend, thousands of anti-covid opponents marched in the Benelux countries, Italy, Switzerland and Northern Ireland. In Belgium and the Netherlands, riots clashed with police for three days. Mayor Rotterdam lamented the “violent orgy.”
Andrea Ammon, director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, warned that mandatory vaccination could cause more resistance from anti-vaccines. This seems plausible. However, authorities have fully promised to maintain vaccination voluntarily when it seemed easy to curb the pandemic. But now, as winter pushes more people indoors and the delta variant rampant, the pressure to return to the blockade and impose stricter vaccine obligations can be difficult to resist. ■■
This article was published in the European section of the printed version under the heading “Fourth Wave”.
The proliferation of deadly covid cases in Europe has been hit by popular anger over the blockade.
Source link The proliferation of deadly covid cases in Europe has been hit by popular anger over the blockade.