MADRID (AP) – Without a proven action plan on how to get countries out of the confinements decreed by the coronavirus pandemic, the world is seeing a mosaic of approaches. Schools reopen in one country, remain closed in others. Masks are mandatory here; hardly a recommendation there.
Children continue to go to soccer practices in Sweden while they hardly go out on the street in Spain. In the United States, the state of Georgia was to allow beauty salons, gyms and bowling alleys to reopen starting Friday, while US hospitals remain overwhelmed by emergencies caused by the virus. In other parts of the world, the prospect of a haircut is far away.RELATED
There is no simple, common approach. While governments and scientists are struggling to find answers, still facing how much is unknown, individuals are left pondering potentially vital decisions.
In France, for example, the government has left it up to parents to decide whether to send their children back to school when the national lockdown decreed on March 17 begins to be loosened on May 11.
“It’s hard to decide,” said Helene Alston, a French lawyer who has a daughter and son in high school. “I think I will send them to school because that allows us to restore a little normalcy in our lives.”
But “I don’t want to deliberately put them in a dangerous situation,” he said Friday. “I could change my mind.”
In Spain, parents also face a difficult decision: If their children can enjoy fresh air for the first time in weeks when the country begins on Sunday to loosen the total ban on their leaving their homes. Still, they will have to abide by the 1-1-1 rule: No more than one hour a day, within a mile of their homes and with no more than one adult in charge.
“I think at least the first day is going to be a pretty stressful situation,” said Eva Novillo, who has been confined to his wife and 7-year-old daughter Emma in Madrid for more than five weeks. “We are all going to be very hysterical that they don’t touch anything, they don’t touch their faces.”
The fall of the horrible Spanish outbreak, which has killed more than 22,000 people, made the prospects of letting children out feasible. On Friday, health authorities in the country counted for the first time more people recovering from the disease in a 24-hour period than new infections.
“” This is good news, “said the director of the emergency health center Fernando Simón. “Obviously the evolution of the epidemic is beginning to enter what has to enter, with all the effort we have made.”
The imperative to reopen is largely driven by economic reasons, as lockdowns plague companies and government chests. In a worldwide trend, some 26 million Americans have applied for unemployment payments in five weeks, taking unemployment to an unprecedented level since the Great Depression of the 1930s and creating pressure on how and when to reopen operations.