Europe Marks Grim Milestone of One Million Deaths From Covid-19

For Danica Angela Marcos, the weirdest yet saddest scenario was to watch her grandfather's funeral live on Zoom, seeing her cousins crying on the screen but not able to give them a hug because of the lockdown.

"It's not like we can do (it) all over again when the pandemic is over ... I cannot re-attend my grandpa's funeral," mumbled the black-hair Londoner in her 20s, rolling eyes to hold back tears, whose grandfather passed away in California, the United States, towards the end of last year.

Many Europeans, like Marcos, have undergone similar human sorrows and pains, as the nightmare of Covid-19, which has shrouded the continent since more than one year ago, is still hovering around, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

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Accelerated Pace

On Friday, the Copenhagen-based World Health Organization (WHO) Europe Office announced that the European region has recorded more than 1 million Covid-19-related deaths.

Since breaking out in late 2019, Covid-19 has been causing infections and deaths at an accelerated pace across Europe. One after another, governments of different countries were woken up to the danger, announcing partial or full lockdowns, and even night curfews, moves rarely seen since the end of World War II.

Schools closed, flights grounded, hairdressers and restaurants shutdown, only grocery and shops selling essential goods, in most countries, were among the few that were allowed to open, while the customers were required to wear masks and keep social distance of more than one meter.

Before the reopening of schools, online courses were offered to students who were forced to stay home during the pandemic in many European countries. Many schools sent assignments to parents via e-mail or other digital tools, or shared free online resources.

However, not all students are self-disciplined. In France, about 5 to 8 per cent of students were "lost," or unreachable by their teachers, estimated the French Ministry of Education in April 2020.

"This virus has imposed limitations on all of us. I have practically no social life and can't hug the people I love. My personal life has turned completely around. Few things remain from my previous life. And as a person, I feel exhausted, restless, and uncertain," Abigail Mora Sanz, a psychotherapist in Spain, told Xinhua.

Continent's Aging Population

Besides the continent's aging population and the overwhelmed healthcare systems, some experts attributed the bleakness in Europe to frequent policy changes, which have swung between lockdowns and relaxations for several rounds.

One of the major challenges for European countries is "the temptation of too fast reopening, which is politically popular but can cause another wave of epidemics before proper vaccination," said Miklos Hargitai, an editorialist of Hungary's daily Nepszava.

"In addition, Europe has not adopted the practice of the most successful countries in curbing the virus," Hargitai told Xinhua.

Another factor behind Europe's current COVID-19 resurgence is the alarming and explosive spread of the highly contagious virus variants, which increases the risk of hospitalization.

Related topics : Coronavirus