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World on standstill: COVID-19 deals major blow to life as we know it

Spread of coronavirus strain is most serious threat since World War II

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 23.03.2020
World on standstill: COVID-19 deals major blow to life as we know it

LONDON

As Europe is tackling the most serious threat since the World War II, life as we know it has come to a standstill in most of the continent due to deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Life, for most of the Europeans, has now been reduced to forced or self-imposed isolation in their homes and they only go out to acquire essential goods to survive.

All measures possible are in place or are still being introduced across the continent to ensure social distancing to slow down the spread of the strain, which has killed thousands by now.

Halting all but basic production, Italy -- the country with the highest number of victims in the world -- have curfews in place especially in the north of the country as the number of cases surpassed 59,000.

Spain, France and Germany have imposed lockdowns in major cities after more than 20,000 people were infected.

The U.K., after finally closing schools, pubs and restaurants last weekend, is now considering stricter measures, including a full London lockdown as ominous situation is intensifying.

The free movement, one of the EU citizens’ most loved and basic rights, is no more as all but essential flights have been grounded. Cheap weekend city breaks enjoyed by millions at this time of the year are out of the question too.

The continent’s greatest art centers, museums and concert halls are closed for business.

Going home

If you had ended up in Europe before the pandemic, the best thing you can do now is going back home if you can or following local governments’ orders and advises.

In Italy, you will not find anywhere open but food markets and pharmacies, just to queue for hours in front of them with a minimum of 2 meters with other fellow shoppers.

A gondola tour in Venice? Visiting Coliseum in Rome? No, you can’t!

In France, the situation is similar. If you are in the city of love, Paris, you cannot have a dinner at the Champs-Elysees or enjoy rich artwork in the Louvre.

Enjoying a spring day with your family at Disneyland Paris is also not possible.

In Spain, you won’t be able to find a restaurant to have traditional paella or any place to enjoy a cup of café con leche.

You may still be in luck to catch probably one last Eurostar train to London but even there you won’t find any activities but empty squares and bridges full of pigeons.

If you had bought a ticket for a West End show, you can forget about it. Visiting British Museum, a ride on London Eye or a city tour on one of those double-decker tour buses are not among options either.

Football leagues postponed

In Belgium, the Netherland, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Serbia and all other countries in Europe, you will have little chance to do anything apart from sitting in isolation all day.

As one of the most enjoyed sports across the globe, the European football is also on halt. All countries postponed their leagues.

European Football Championship, Champions League, Europa League, Monaco Grand Prix and French Open are among the sports events canceled or postponed to further date.

Eurovision Song Contest and Glastonbury Festival are cancelled for this year.

There are many other sports, social, cultural, governmental and academic events across Europe, which will not go ahead this month and the next because of the rising fears of further and fast spread of coronavirus.

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, first emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 167 countries and territories.

There are over 341,300 confirmed cases worldwide, with a death toll surpassing 14,700, while more than 98,800 have recovered, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

When all will turn back to normal is currently a mystery but one thing is very clear for now:

Life, as we know it, is not out there across the globe, as the earth has come to a standstill for an unknown amount of time.

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