We have failed again: when will we learn?
This time it wasn't supposed to happen. We were supposed to have learned our lesson. But we haven't. We've rushed again and we've we've screwed up again. When will we learn? The result of wanting to do things quickly to make the best of the tourist season and support the economy has placed us in the centre of the fifth wave. Catalonia is now one of the places in Europe with the highest number of covid-19 infections, which is already putting a stop to the arrival of visitors. We are a red spot on the map, and states whose tourists usually visit Catalonia, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France, have already singled us out as a destination to be avoided. The EU has also made it clear that it is highly inadvisable to come to Catalonia and that it is better for Catalans not to leave our borders. With over 1,000 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, we have a skyrocketing rate that is not abating. The pattern of a year ago has been repeated, with the festival of Sant Joan as the starting signal. But this time we could have predicted it and, moreover, the curve of infections has been even more pronounced than last July. If it were not for the progress in the vaccination (which has gone at a good pace), the situation today would be dramatic. Vaccination has been a lifeline, even though we have already learned that it is far from infallible: it greatly reduces mortality, but not so much contagion. In a way, it has given us a false sense of security.
Now, then, the outlook is worrying in Health Centres and hospitals, where the increase in admissions both on the ward and in ICU is already causing the cancellation of other types of care and interventions. And, as we have already said, it is also worrying for the economy, especially for the tourism and hospitality sector. By wanting to turn the page too quickly, we have ended up hurting ourselves. And everyone is responsible for this haste: the health authorities for not being more severe, especially considering the emergence of the delta variant; the economic sectors for their impatience, perhaps understandable, but ultimately harmful; the political world for wanting to give people good news and thus ending up sending a message of excessive relaxation; and the general population for getting carried away by the desire for summer, leisure and holidays: it is obvious that there was a collective need for freedom of movement and sociability, but we went too far - and not only young people - and now we are all paying the consequences together. The end of compulsory outdoor mask-wearing was a psychological turning point that has ended up being very counterproductive. Together we have created the perfect storm. Now we have another curfew, the mask is coming back out and summer will be low key again. This time we should learn our lesson.