Table of contents:
- The current situation
- Is there a fourth wave coming?
- Will the vaccination be enough?
- Party and clubbing: no-go or still okay?
- Will we still be able to travel in September?
- Will our lives ever be "normal" again?
Everything is open again, the vaccinations are in full swing. Nevertheless, the corona numbers are increasing: the first events have already been canceled. Experts say what we can expect in the next few weeks.
You have been able to go to restaurants again since the middle of May, even the night catering has been open again since the beginning of July and traveling is currently easier than it has been for a long time. The 3G rule must be adhered to during the activities mentioned above - either you have been tested, recovered or vaccinated.
The current situation
Nevertheless, the number of corona cases is rising again. At the end of June and beginning of July the number of new infections per day was between 30 and 80, on July 7th it was again over 100 for the first time, now (as of July 19) we are at 313. "The doubling time in the number of cases is currently very high in short, that means they are increasing very quickly. But the numbers are still relatively low, "says Stefan Thurner, complexity researcher at MedUni Vienna and head of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna. For comparison: in November last year there were about 7000-9000 new cases a day at peak times.
Is there a fourth wave coming?
"There is no doubt that the fourth wave has started," said Thurner. "The question is, will it put our health system at risk again?"
"Everyone shares responsibility for the spread of the pandemic," says Margarete Kriz-Zwittkovits, chairwoman of Frau in der Wirtschaft Wien and vice-president of WKW. "We've learned very well how to do it over the past 16 months protect yourself and others can."
Will the vaccination be enough?
"The vaccinations are making good progress in Austria. They are a real game changer," says Kriz-Zwittkovits. "Even if there are more cases again in autumn, the consequences for those who have been vaccinated will be less severe. And: Even if you are vaccinated, you should get tested regularly." For example, if you have only received a vaccine dose, you are not adequately protected from the more aggressive delta variant.
The two experts agree: the virus will not go away for the time being. "You can only find strategies to live with it without it annoying us too much. With the vaccination alone, we will probably not get there in the fall. For that not enough people participate ", Thurner points out.
He is of the opinion that a strategy for autumn is already being considered and that it must be communicated to the population. Should the number of cases call for tougher measures, these can be implemented immediately. "It's important to be with the people Awareness of the current situation to create without panic. And, building on this, also communicate what measures will be taken. If you only start this debate in September, you risk losing valuable weeks again."
Party and clubbing: no-go or still okay?
"The safety concepts are always decisive: if they are well thought out and adhered to, anything is possible," says Kriz-Zwittkovits.
"From studies on the first and second wave it is known that the (night) gastronomy are strong drivers of infection. If it is already open, you should strictly ensure that the 3G rule is adhered to. If this is not the case, you shouldn't be surprised when the virus spreads more strongly again, "said Thurner.
Particular caution is required if there is no proper control or if other measures apply, for example when on vacation. The 3G rule often does not exist elsewhere. And one thing should never be forgotten: You can get infected despite being vaccinated, although not so easily.
Will we still be able to travel in September?
Kriz-Zwittkovits is confident: "I assume that the population will be immunized here and elsewhere by then even more advanced be."
Thurner sees the situation a little more critical. Of course, it depends on the numbers: "If we should be back to several thousand infections a day, I can imagine that traveling will be more restrictive. Unfortunately, they still exist no uniform rules in the EU how travel can be made possible without being a driver of infection. We are just experiencing again - just like last year - that many new cases are related to vacations."
Will our lives ever be "normal" again?
Yes - the two experts agree on that. "It's going to be normal again - and fine!" Says Thurner.
"This pandemic will also pass," says Kriz-Zwittkovits. "And we will become many out of her too positive experiences take along. For example the expansion of digitization."
"In the fall we will Understand things better for the first time, which we don't know yet, "explains Thurner. For example, what it means if we don't achieve herd immunity: Will it threaten the health system or is the degree of immunization and testing sufficient? small amount."
In the best case scenario, we will no longer have a problem with the capacities of intensive care beds. But we should too prepared for the worst case where we are reaching the limits of our capacity again and need tough measures. "In my opinion, the key to avoiding this is a strong strategy: we have to be prepared in order to be able to act quickly and decisively," said Thurner. "Then you can create a life without major restrictions."