The reason is simple – last month a crowd of students returned to Vasaa University, and like students from all over the world, they celebrated cordially, first on campus and later at local nightclubs.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“First a few [students] unknowingly carrying the virus spread it when he was in close contact with others at the student party. That’s why a strong local epidemic came here, ”he explained Heikki Kaukoranta, Head of the Laboratory of Vaasa Central Hospital.
This result is predictable – a miracle is that it had not already happened in other universities.
Since August, when the fall semester began at some American universities, undergraduates have behaved in the same way, with the same results. These students acted as if there was no COVID, and there was no responsible adult in the room telling them to behave differently. Now the University of Vaasa, like many US institutions, has temporarily closed its campus and switched to virtual learning.
“We do it by being patient, responsible and acting safely,” the principal assured Jari Kuusisto. But this was a disaster that should never have happened.
Praise your finger that the great powers of the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) will get the message across.
There were 2,035 new cases in the last two-week period – more than double the number in the previous two weeks.
The statistics can be confusing, but keep in mind this alarming fact –The daily increase in COVID-19 cases is now as high as in April during the epidemic, and the situation is steadily deteriorating.
A national emergency was then declared. Now there is only a “recommendation” to wear the mask in public transport and crowded indoors. “
The good news is that the number of mask users is growing every day. But it’s not enough. The Finns follow the rules, and if masks were needed, you would immediately see everyone who has one.
When the government announced that restaurants, bars and nightclubs would have to close at 1 p.m. However, reducing opening hours is only half the battle. As crowded bars and restaurants are the largest source of new COVID hotspots – that is the story of Vaasa – in order to control the coronavirus, the maximum number of protectors in these facilities needs to be reduced. The effect only appears in a few weeks.
I understand that people do not want to turn the clock back and would be reluctant to accept the restoration of restrictions. I understand that the political consensus in March may not be repeated in October. And I understand that stricter restrictions will inevitably have economic consequences. But quick, determined action can turn the tide, and in a relatively short time we can return to normal. At the first signs of a hotspot, contact tracing can stop the spread of the coronavirus in its pathways.
New Zealand has led the way. Last summer, the country thought it had eradicated the coronavirus, but in August an outbreak occurred in Auckland, its largest city. The response was quick – the government introduced a strict closure and swept the virus into a fast-paced, scientific policy.
What a prime minister Jacinda Ardern calls for a “go hard, go early” strategy – the lock was removed a week ago when no new cases were reported in the last ten days. Life there has returned to normal and economic activity is in full swing.
There are certainly big differences between the two countries – although Finland is relatively isolated from the rest of Europe, it has been easier for New Zealand to keep COVID at bay because it is an island nation. However, kiwis have shown that a rapid and strong response is the best way to stop the spread of COVID 19.
Auckland or Vaasa? The government’s policy determines which path Finland takes.
David Kirp is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a regular contributor to the Helsinki Times. He has the status of a permanent resident.
Photos: Magazine image
Source: The Nordic Page