The second Kovid wave of Europe starts from young to old. –

The second Kovid wave of Europe starts from young to old.

Since summer, Europe’s second wave of coronovirus has mainly affected young people, who usually have mild or no symptoms. But infections have started leaking into older age groups, the latest data show, often spreading to younger to older members of the same family.

According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the majority of people aged over 65 are growing in European countries. As a result, hospitalizations and deaths – which remained low for much of the summer, while spreading infection among young people reduces the likelihood of becoming seriously ill – tend to increase greatly.

Many European countries are now registering more cases than they did in the spring, but this is partly due to better detection. The health emergency is not as severe as it was at the time when only a fraction of the infected people were tested for the virus, and some hospitals in countries such as Italy were outgrown by critically ill Kovid-19 patients.

In the UK, the transition between aging increased rapidly at the end of September, according to research from Imperial College London. According to official figures, Kovid-19 patients have more than doubled to 2,000 in the hospital during September. There were 588 deaths in the month through sept28 in August, more than double in August.

In Spain, which is struggling to prevent one of Europe’s biggest outbreaks, 547 people died in the first week of October alone. In the week that ended on 1 September, by comparison, only 159 had died.

When Carmen Pallarolas and her husband tested positive for coronavirus in August, they blamed their 26-year-old son, who lives with them, lived an active social life and also tested positive.

“Usually young people move around people older than us, and they are less careful,” said Ms. Pallarolas, a 60-year-old from the Spanish city of Argentina who suffers mild Kovid-19 symptoms such as fever Used to do A cough, and which has been recovered.

Even in Germany, where growth in infection is relatively slow, increased penetration into intensive care wards has prompted the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s center for disease control, to warn that the virus is likely to spread to older generations .

Like other nursing home guests, Nilada Nari is allowed to see her son for just 15 minutes every two weeks, while keeping a distance.

Health officials are advising the elderly to do more to protect themselves, by limiting social participation, avoiding crowds and wearing face masks. They are also urging to get vaccinations against flu during winter to prevent congestion in hospitals. Some research suggests that flu vaccination may also reduce the severity of Kovid-19 infection.

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Family members are also being asked to reduce contact with older relatives. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in an interview broadcast to a smaller audience, “Don’t kill your gran while catching coronovirus and then passing on it.”

When Vitoria Rosso learns that a friend she recently met for a drink tested positive for coronavirus, her first thought was for her 87-year-old grandmother, who lives in her building in the Italian city of Turin.

“I could have been infected and I could have infected her,” said Ms. Rosso, a 29-year-old psychologist, who is currently self-isolated at home while she waits to test the virus. Although she cleans her hands and wears a face mask whenever she sees her grandmother, they worry that such precautions were not enough.

In Italy, the average age of those newly infected people is increasing, according to the National Institutes of Health of Italy, with more than 50 people accounting for more than a third of recently known cases. Most new infections are occurring indoors.

But after months of social disturbances, many Europeans are no longer willing or able to stay away from their relatives – especially in southern European countries such as Italy and Spain, where multinational households are common and grandparents often have children. Help take care of.

A woman returns home to Turin.

73-year-old Ritten Manuel Jimenez, who lives near Barcelona, ​​escapes crowded places and wakes up early in the morning when there are fewer people around. But he still picks his grandson from school the most.

“His parents are working and can’t make it on time. If I don’t pick him up, who will?”, Says Mr. Jimenez, waiting outside the school in a crowd of children and other grandparents Is. “Finally, life has to continue, even if the virus is out of here.”

European countries should try their best to suppress the virus, says Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh in European countries, but instead of accepting its spread, try to isolate the rest from the rest of society. needed.

In South Korea, Taiwan and other parts of East Asia, extensive mask-wear with effective testing, tracing and isolation of the carrier of the virus has reduced fingering to a low level, she says, for everyone, including older daily life. Make it safe

“We’re focused on the wrong things,” Proc. Sridhar says. “Asia is focusing on how to suppress the virus most effectively. We are focusing on how to cut a part of society. “

Europe’s nursing homes, which were devastated by the virus in the spring, are trying to protect them, especially by isolating the elderly. But it is taking a heavy psychological toll on many residents.

In some parts of Italy, caring residents have not been allowed to walk for months, even for short walks. Those who have a doctor’s appointment should self-abstain for two weeks upon return. Physical contact with visiting relatives is strictly prohibited.

Silvio Ferreto, along with his 93-year-old mother, president of Sanfront Nursing Home.

“Of course we need to be careful,” says Silvio Ferreto, who runs a nursing home in Sanfront, a small village in northern Italy, and who is pushing authorities to loosen the rules. “But to see our guests trying to caress their relatives through plexiglass barriers or tablet devices is heartbreaking.”

His own 93-year-old mother rather lives in a home than in a nursing home, which she says is like a prison.

Many nursing home guests do not understand why they cannot spend more time with their loved ones. Nilada Nari, who is in her late 80s, was very upset when her son left their 15-minute meeting without hugging her, after which he walked out, saying a word for several minutes. Or she sat without speaking.

As European countries face the second wave of infection, data suggest that tourism has helped coronovirus spread to popular destinations and travelers’ home countries. The WSJ describes how summer travel has made the epidemic harder to control. Photo: Damir Saker / Agence France Press

85-year-old Teresa Gerbudo moved to Sanfront Nursing Home during the summer, she once lost a healthy appetite. These days, she eats so little that she is being fed intravenously. He is outside and inside the hospital.

Her daughter, Franca Buffa, is worried that her mother is giving up on life. “It’s disastrous. I am at home with a broken heart because I know she is alone, ”she says. Old people like his mother were letting themselves go, as if they didn’t want to fight anymore. Kovid may also kill indirectly. “

Write Margherita Stancati at [email protected]

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