Several countries in Europe, including the UK and Germany, have reported a significant increase in Covid-19 cases, in what is called the autumn wave. Lax public health measures, lack of knowledge about booster doses of the vaccine, as well as a perception of “false safety” could be contributing to the increase in transmission.

According to a joint official statement by the European Commission (EC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), although the pandemic is considered to have decreased in urgency compared to last year, humanity may soon face a new wave of infections tukif.

WHO officials said that among the variants circulating in Europe are the BA.4/5 sub-variants of Omicron, which dominated this northern summer and are still behind the majority of infections. However, new sub-variants of Omicron are being tracked.



Last week, the WHO said cases in the European Union reached 1.5 million, up 8% from the previous week. Hospitalisation figures have also been rising in several countries in the bloc, as well as in the UK, according to CNN.

The president of the German Hospital Association, Gerhard Gaß, said on Wednesday 12 October that the country’s hospitals were at capacity. He also reported that the number of beds occupied by positive patients had increased by 50 percent compared to last week.


According to the WHO, France already has an incidence of 800 cases per 100,000 population of coronavirus. On the other hand, for the week of 4 October, admissions for Covid-19 in Italy increased by almost 32% compared to the previous week, according to data from the independent scientific foundation Gimbe cited by CNN.



Now, while the European Parliament is investigating the Pfizer contracts, new vaccines adapted to the omicron variant have been launched on the European continent. These, which have been available since September, address the BA.1 and BA.4/5 sub-variants, alongside existing first generation vaccines. While in Great Britain, they are only approved for the BA.1 sub-variant.

The authorities in these countries have approved late booster doses for a select group of people, especially the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. However, confusion over choosing which vaccine to use, as well as a false sense of security, have been two obstacles to vaccination, according to experts in the field.


Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that “the message that it’s all over, coupled with the lack of a major publicity campaign, is likely to reduce uptake (of the vaccine),” as quoted by CNN.

However, the WHO insists that prevention measures and vaccination, which is “our most effective tool”, must be maintained. The agency also urges other nations to make additional efforts to protect the most vulnerable segments of the population by distributing influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.



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Mental Health and the Pandemic

Mental Health and the Pandemic

Worries and anxiety about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact can overwhelm anybody. The rapidly changing situation has drastically changed people’s lives and the global, public and private economy. The uncertainties and fears caused by the pandemic outbreak, lockdowns, and economic recessions increase the risk of mental disorders and suicides. Various studies point to an increase in mental issues across the general population.


The More Vulnerable Groups

A review study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population identified several predictive factors. Females were more vulnerable to developing the signs of various types of mental conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic. These disorders include stress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Women represent a higher percentage of the workforce prone to the pandemic’s negative effects like healthcare, retail, and service industry porno. This partly explains why women are more affected than men are. 

Persons under the age of 40 showed more adverse mental symptoms during the pandemic. Why is this group affected? Most of them, particularly women, are caregivers providing financial and emotional care to children and the elderly. Job loss and uncertainty caused by the pandemic are particularly stressful to this group. A significant chunk of this group consists of students who may undergo emotional distress due to school closures, reduced study efficiency related to remote online classes, and postponed exams.

Persons with chronic conditions and a history of psychiatric illness exhibited more symptoms of anxiety and stress. The cause of distress in patients with chronic diseases was partly due to compromised immunity (due to pre-existing conditions), making them more susceptible to the infection and threat of mortality. Individuals with a history or current mental disorders are more sensitive to external stressors like social isolation linked to the pandemic.


Psychological Stressors Related to the Pandemic

According to several studies, frequent exposure to news related to covid-19 caused anxiety and stress symptoms. Regular use of social media exposes people to potential disinformation, fake news that tends to aggravate anxiety. With the situation remaining unpredictable, a lot of unknown information about the novel virus, fake news, and misinformation were spreading easily through social media platforms. Through news reports and social media, sadness and anxious emotions could also arise from constantly viewing community populations suffering from the pandemic.

Various studies point out that unemployment, poor economic status, and lower levels of education increase the risk of developing symptoms related to mental disorders. Populations under these descriptions were more prone to developing depressive symptoms during the covid-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the virus led to various governments imposing strict stay-at-home orders, which led to reduced demand for goods and services. This led to a rise in unemployment rates in many countries. A diminishing quality of life coupled with uncertainty because of financial hardship exposed people to the risk of developing adverse psychological symptoms.

Taking Care of Mental Health the Pandemic

Since the pandemic is here, it is crucial that you take steps to avert mental conditions. The best approach is to implement self-care strategies and get the care necessary to help you cope. Take care of your body’s health by getting sufficient sleep, engaging in physical activities, have healthy meals, limiting screen time, and relaxing. It is also vital to avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Reducing stress triggers can also help with taking care of the mind. For example, maintain a routine, limit exposure to news (persistent news about the pandemic), stay busy, and focus on positive thoughts.





Genetics and Race: Current Research and Social Impact

Fifty years ago, the understanding of genetics drastically expanded when James Watson and Francis Crick determined the precise molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The desire for a better understanding of the human body, combined with this discovery, eventually led to the creation of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 1990—an endeavour that maps the exact composition, structure, and function of every genetic sequence in the human body. Numerous advantages and disadvantages arise from this and the resulting scientific research projects, many of which have implications on the understanding and applications of the concept of race.

Historically, the definition of race has encompassed both one’s physical appearance and cultural values and beliefs. Many studies in the 1800s and early 1900s, by scientists such as Francis Galton and Charles Davenport, used this principle to “prove” that one race was superior to others in intelligence or physical abilities. However, recent discoveries in genetic research, including the HGP, have led most scientists to challenge these past findings.

Many argue that race is, in fact, a social construct which cannot be genetically defined, since there are more genetic variations within a racial or ethnic group than among different groups. They point out that the scarcity of genetic differences does not correlate with the extensiveness of social and behavioural differences among racial and ethnic groups. On the other hand, there are researchers who rely on a genetic basis for race in their judgements and research. These scientists are investigating groupings of DNA, such as base pairs and haplotypes, that possibly makeup one’s physical aspects and medical conditions, and/or may control behavioural features including talent and personality. In spite of this increased understanding of genetic information, the societal definition of race continues to focus on physical aspects— leaving many experts concerned that the continued study of genetic functions will bear profound consequences for reinforcing or disproving racial, or even gender, stereotypes.

For example, the prevalence of medical conditions within respective minority communities has led to the assumption that certain races may be more genetically susceptible to specific diseases, which could, therefore, be treated by tailored medications or treatments. Unfortunately, these inferences, though not yet scientifically proven, have led society to discount the influence of environmental factors, such as stress from racism or poor healthcare and diet, which render tailored treatments virtually video porno useless. In addition to the implications for stereotypes and health care, some fear that genetic research will also have profound implications for individuals’ concept of self.