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Europe Walks Towards Bubble Homes Pushed By Coronavirus

ByMike Paul

Oct 21, 2020

After an afternoon of games in the Parc del Guinardó Barcelona, little Íria invited Emma to sleep at her house last Sunday At four years old it was the first time that she had decided to take the plunge with a friend and their parents laughed at the initiative “We agreed to talk throughout the week in case it could be this Saturday, In the end, we had to leave it ” explains Eva Cervera a 40yearold journalist and Emmas mother.

The Government of Catalonia recommended on Wednesday reducing social contacts as much as possible This includes avoiding encounters with people who do not live under the same roof the so-called cohabitation groups In Ourense these meetings have been prohibited You can go for a walk go on a hike or go out to dinner but always with the other people.

Outside of Spain Ireland and major UK cities like London have banned indoor gatherings of people from two or more different households In Germany when an area exceeds 50 positives per week per 100000 inhabitants encounters are limited to a maximum of 10 people from two coexistence groups In Belgium the new restrictions allow a maximum of four people to be invited to the home provided they are the same in the next two weeks.

Although at different speeds and with some differences between countries Europe is moving towards a new form of coexistence based on bubble homes It is the last resort to cope with the relentless advance of the coronavirus and avoid harsh confinement The World Health Organization WHO and the European Union EU warned this week of the urgent need to bend the curve if you want to avoid a measure that after the traumatic experience of the first wave everyone wants to avoid.

“Without a vaccine yet without effective treatments and with explosive rebounds governments have discovered that their best weapon is the sociological one And this happens by reducing to a minimum the interactions of people outside of essential activities ”explains Daniel López Acuña former director of Health Action in Crisis at the World Health Organization WHO.

For this expert, if the virus has reached current levels of circulation it has been largely because social events and mass gatherings have not been stopped before But at this point, although the restrictions may be somewhat unfair to those who have been careful there are not many alternatives In the current situation either we are going towards the bubbles or we have to stop society again summarizes López Acuña.

The trend is this because the one we have more interaction with there is more circulation of the virus says Joan Ramon Villalbí from the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration SESPAS This epidemiologist considers that it is inevitable that if the incidence continues to grow across the continent Holland Belgium and France are already with worse indicators than Spain this type of measure will be extended.

The sociologist José Antonio Noguera a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona ​​points out that in some countries in central and northern Europe the sociological trend is towards increasingly smaller families and people living alone “In these more individualistic societies measures of this type are easier to follow But in others like Spain families tend to be large and social interactions more intense The impact on people with these restrictions is much greater ” he adds.

Noguera believes that this higher social and personal cost makes people tend to reverse the restrictions naturally as soon as they have the opportunity This has a positive side which is that it makes it easier to get back to normal when restrictions are lifted, But also another more controversial in these times There is a risk that there is a gap between what we would have to do as a society and what we will really do he says Surely a good part of the people follow the instructions of the authorities and interactions are significantly reduced but it is likely that they will not do so to the extent that the recommendations or norms require it concludes Noguera.

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