The Guardian reports multiple decisions made by European leaders and citizens contributed to the new set of lockdowns issued there. (Oh, and the same circumstances are evident in the U.S.).
The view of health experts now is that, for various reasons, Europe’s strategy for exiting its spring lockdowns failed. Either politicians ignored their advice, or the systems weren’t in place to implement it correctly. People’s goodwill and trust leached away as the pandemic dragged on, and when those experts started calling for stronger measures again this autumn – and the same exit strategy as before – politicians were even less willing to listen.
The fault is not only the politicians’. Some governments may have done better than others in managing their epidemics, but all of them are trying to satisfy as many of their voters as possible – and of course, to stay in power. The misunderstandings that have landed us in this new chapter of misery belong to all of us. There are really only two of them, but they have done a lot of damage: an inability to grasp the notion of exponentiality, and the dangerous idea that you can simultaneously save lives and spare the economy.