European leaders appear to be embracing science and learning to live with Covid. This marks a 180-degree policy shift after EU countries imposed Draconian lockdowns that failed to contain the virus, but led to catastrophic rises in substance abuse and spikes in suicide rates.
“If we can’t reopen our society . . . then we must ask ourselves ‘when will we be able to return to normal,’” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly said, adding we must “learn to live with this virus.”
The U.K. was widely criticized for its lack of political will to close borders quickly and implement commonsense measures to slow the spread. It wasn’t until hospitalizations surged that Johnson’s government went in the extreme opposite direction. The U.K.’s knee-jerk reactions included police departments deploying drones to monitor citizens’ activities, enforce lockdowns and publicly shame those who didn’t comply.
Having mostly reopened the country’s economy, Boris pulled back his Big Brother tactics. People will now be allowed to congregate in public places, and they are urged to wear masks and social distance as practical. Although making a push to require vaccines and vaccine passports, the U.K. is including a facet the Biden Administration refuses to discuss.
People who successfully fought of Covid are counted among those vaccinated. That’s largely because the natural antibodies appear equal or slightly better at resisting or passing along the virus.
“To dictate that a person recovered from COVID-19 with natural immunity also submit to a vaccine — without scientific evidence — is nothing more than hubris. If you have no proof that people who acquired natural immunity are getting or transmitting the disease in real numbers, then perhaps you should just be quiet,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul reportedly wrote. “But facts are facts. I’m no more likely to get or transmit COVID than someone who is vaccinated. We know this. Doctors know this. Scientists who design vaccines know this. Vaccines are created to attempt to replicate the immunity we get from having been infected with a disease.”
After massive protests and street violence broke out in France and Italy, U.K. leaders have loosened on rigid so-called “Vaccine Green Cards.” The backlash appears to have prompted a socially conscious effort that calls for ongoing testing. People have no restrictions to public places after testing negative for the virus. This measure is a far cry from Italy’s lockdowns that were mimicked by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the U.S.
Country’s that repeatedly demanded people shutter themselves indoors failed to account for the science that indicates the virus spread more easily indoors than in direct sunlight. In hindsight, these were cruel abuses of political power driven by over-active egos and the belief the virus could be beaten. More than 100 years later, respiratory infections such as influenza taught the hard lesson that mere humans cannot defeat unseen viruses.
Germany, France, the U.K., and others, are experiencing increased rates of Covid despite high vaccination rates. Unlike the U.S., they’ve come to terms with the possibility Covid is something we all need to live with as best we can.